NewcastleGateshead Quayside to be the venue of a major extrication and rescue challenge, hosted by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is to host the 2020 United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) Challenge in September this year. The challenge – which sees emergency services teams compete against each other to demonstrate highly-skilled rescue techniques – will be located on NewcastleGateshead Quayside on September 18th and 19th.

TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther commented:

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the professional skills delivered every day across the UK by fire and rescue services. And the location couldn’t be any better for our competing teams and visitors.

NewcastleGateshead Quayside not only has the facilities required to host the Challenge, but its iconic buildings and well-known North East hospitality will ensure that this will be great event for both participants and spectators.”

The two-day Challenge includes awards for:

  • Urban Search and Rescue
  • Trauma
  • Water Rescue
  • Rope Rescue
  • Extrication

Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin, Chair of the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) said:

“We are looking forward to working alongside our colleagues in Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to bring the 2020 UK National Rescue Challenge to NewcastleGateshead.”

As a charitable organisation UKRO prides itself in advancing professional rescue through the direct benefits from the rescue challenge, education workshops and the UKRO Academy.

The River Tyne – a scene of real-life rescues by TWFRS’ Swiftwater Rescue team – will provide the venue for the water rescue challenges.

Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture, Councillor Ged Bell, who is a retired firefighter, said:

“The fire and rescue service makes a vital contribution to our country protecting and savings lives. I know from experience, firefighters must always be on top of their game as they never know when they will be called upon to put their own lives at risk which is why rescue challenges like this are important. They are interesting to watch and there’s lots that people can learn. For example how firefighters rescue people – not only from fires – but car accidents and rivers and how people can protect themselves from risks in everyday life.

It’s a privilege to host this and I hope the public turn out in their droves to support it.”

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

Councillor Angela Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure and Chair of Gateshead Community Safety Board, said:

“We are very proud to support and host this special event which will not only showcase the skills of our emergency services to the public but acts as an important reminder that we have such a dedicated fire and rescue service who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us every day. We look forward to welcoming teams from all over the UK to Gateshead and Newcastle’s quaysides which promise to be impressive locations for the competition.”

As well as hosting the Challenge, TWFRS will also be entering the competition, hoping the skills of their firefighters will be as impressive as the location.

Chris Lowther concluded:

“I know that this will be a fantastic event for all involved. The Challenge will show our communities the incredible skills and dedication of firefighters, allow them to share their knowledge to benefit the wider fire service and provide the competitors with one of the best locations the UK has to offer.”