Emergency volunteers compete against clock in staged accidents

Day in and day out, fire brigades around the country work tirelessly to save people from the most perilous of situations. 

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Many are volunteers who often face trauma and tragedy on the roads. Source: Seven Sharp

In particular, volunteers are having to go to an increasing number of road incidents. So, the Road Crash Rescue Challenge was born to give them a unique learning opportunity in a safe, but startlingly realistic, environment. 

In teams of six, volunteers around the country compete against other brigades and the clock to rescue people in staged road crashes. 

"You can’t get a better way to practice what we do and make sure when we deliver that, we do it correctly," United Fire Brigades’ Association president Jason Prendergast told Seven Sharp.

A firefighter operates a fire truck. Source: 1 NEWS

Mum of four and coffee business owner, Tash Rankin, joined the Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade three years ago. 

"I had no idea how to cut a car. I had no idea how to start a chainsaw, let alone a pump," she said.

Rankin said she found her role "absolutely satisfying" and that she couldn’t have done it without the help of her children.

“Everytime they hear the fire siren, it’s 'mum, we’ll do that … off you go'."

She said competitions like the Road Crash Rescue Challenge helped people hone their ability to be calm in an emergency situation.