2021 UKRO Challenge – Festival of Rescue


The banks of the River Tyne, displaying its world famous array of beautiful bridges, stunning architecture and cultural settings, looks forward to becoming the impressive backdrop for this year’s spectacular UKRO (United Kingdom Rescue Organisation) showcase event.

Organised and hosted by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in association with UKRO, this promises to be a true spectacle of resilience, expertise and full-on teamwork. With over 70 teams representing Fire Services from up and down the country, Firefighters and crews will display their skills through a variety of specialist disciplines, pitting their wits against each other as they look to go head-to-head and be crowned the very best in their field.

Visitors, residents, friends, family and colleagues will be cheering from the sidelines as teams tackle the intense challenges put before them in the five categories of Vehicle Extrication, Trauma Care, Urban Search and Rescue, Rope Rescue, and Water Rescue.

As well as the Challenge itself, spectators will also have the opportunity to visit the Community Engagement Village, where both residents and businesses will receive some great help and advice on keeping themselves, their homes and their businesses safe.

The Festival of Rescue is a free event open to everyone to attend, so why not come along and be a part of what will most certainly be an event to remember. We look forward to seeing you there, and for more information please visit:


Event Programme

Promotional Video


Meet your Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Teams

Extrication Challenge

The UKRO Extrication Challenge will provide an arena for FRS personnel from across the UK to come together, in order to simulate and develop proficiency levels in all areas of RTC rescue, including:

  • Incident Command,
  • Team Approach,
  • Safety,
  • Physical and Medical Extrication,
  • Pre-Hospital Medical Care, and
  • Expert Use of RTC Rescue Equipment.

The UKRO Extrication Challenge will identify ‘Best Safe Practice’ through the assessment of the knowledge, skills and understanding demonstrated by participating teams and subsequently enable those ‘Best Safe Practices’ to be transferred back into the participating teams FRSs.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s Extrication Team  are based in Community Fire Stations within the Service and SHQ

Team members are;

  • Incident commander – Watch Manager Lee Denny
  • Medic – Watch Manager Simon Kirsopp
  • Medic Support – Crew Manager Ben Mullen
  • Tool Operative – Watch Manager Steve Walker
  • Tool Operative – Watch Manager Richie Biggs
  • Tool Operative – Firefighter Mark Fairbairn

Trauma Care

Trauma Care Teams face a challenging scenario where a casualty has been involved in an accident causing them physical injury. The Trauma Teams will have to use all of the skills and knowledge to deal with the hazardous scenario in a safe a speedy manor within a set time limit.

Team members are;

  • Crew Manager Ben Mullen
  • Watch Manager Simon Kirsopp

Water Rescue

This year’s water rescue team for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are all based at Byker community fire station.

Newly formed for this year’s event, the team have a combined 18 years’ experience in water rescue. The three members of the team came together as they wanted to build on experience within the challenges and hopefully learn from the other teams entered into this year’s competition.

Team members are;

  • Watch Manager Scott Hardy
  • Firefighter Dan Nessfield
  • Firefighter Dean Tallentire

Water Rescue Team

Rope Rescue

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) Rope Rescue team consists of six operators who all based at Fire Stations at South Shields and Hebburn in South Tyneside.

With a combined time of Rope Operations reaching almost 100 years, the team of instructors are vastly experienced, highly skilled and passionate about ensuring all operators within service are competently trained to their very own high standards.

This is only the second occasion that TWFRS have entered the UKRO Rope event and the team are delighted to be competing, but more importantly, they are looking forward to the shared operational learning that will undoubtedly be a feature of this year’s ‘Festival of Rescue’.

Team members are;

  • Watch Manager David Barnes
  • Watch Manager Neil Hanlon
  • Firefighter John Graham
  • Crew Manager Daryl Oguona
  • Crew Manager Dan Jones
  • Watch Manager Graeme Taylor

UKRO 2021 Event Map