Firefighters from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

With just two days to go before over 300 competitors from 25 UK fire and rescue services descend on to the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside to battle it out during the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation “Festival of Rescue” – we caught up with Kevin Hart, UKRO Officer In Command (OIC) for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) on how their team members are preparing for the showcase event.

Q1: What preparations are you doing in the run up to UKRO?

We have been working with South East Coast Ambulance Service and training some of their newest recruits in our RTC (Road Traffic Collisions) techniques, initial response, safety considerations and the fire services casualty care abilities. In return we gained Trauma and RTC casualty feedback.

Q2: Describe how you’re feeling in the build up to UKRO? What are your emotions and expectations about visiting the North East Tyne and Wear?

Our team roles have changed over the last two years and we have brought in a couple of new members. We are all excited but apprehensive about the event, and looking forward to catching up with some old colleagues and comparing stories and techniques with our brothers and sisters across the country.

We are looking forward to our visit the North East.

Q3: What do you hope visitors to the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides can expect from your appearance at UKRO 2021?

A group of firefighters who are happy to challenge themselves outside of the comfort zones and ultimately become better firefighters. Who are not perfect but always improving.

Q4: How important are events like UKRO?

UKRO is great event for a small service like East Sussex. As a team we are able to take away the knowledge and skills learnt and bring them back into our training departments to benefit the wider community. Without UKRO we wouldn’t have brought in the latest RTC equipment, and kept up to speed with current procedures and vehicle technology / materials.

The Festival of Rescue will take over the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides on Friday and Saturday (17/18 Sept) with the sites being open from 8am-5pm.

The free event is open to the public to attend.