Wanaka’s road crash rescue team has brought home the title of best in Australasia, fending off 18 teams from across New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.
The team made it to the Australasian Rescue Challenge (ARC) at the end of July in Victoria, Australia after a string of successes in this year’s South Island and national championships earned them a wild card entry. Volunteer firefighter and crash team member Jodie Rainsford said that although the team had been hoping to win something, they hadn’t been expecting to win the whole challenge.
“To win overall was pretty awesome and so exciting. Everyone was just beaming,” Jodie said.
To add to their title of overall champions the team also won medals for best technical team, best team medical, best team leader and best time critical rescue as well as coming second in controlled rescue and entrapped rescue.
“We’ve practised for a huge number of hours, put a lot of effort in and have worked really hard for this so we are very proud of our result,” Jodie said.
New Zealand was highly represented in the challenge, with the second and third place overall champions hailing from Feilding and Whitianga.
“They definitely upped the standard in nationals in New Zealand this year so the standard of our teams was really high,” Jodie said.
Wanaka’s team now looks forward to competing in the World Rescue Challenge in France this September.
Pictured: Wanaka’s road crash rescue team; Rob Thorp, Justin Stowell, Jarrod Wellman, Jodie Rainsford, Mark Strang and Travis Purnell.
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