Bridgend fire station celebrates team's fourth global title
A team of world champion firefighters says rescue skills learnt in competitions can be the difference between life or death.
The Bridgend extrication team from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has won for the fourth year in a row at the Rescue World Challenge.
They have proved to be best at safely removing casualties from a mocked-up car crash.
All new skills learnt at the competition are passed onto colleagues.
Team leader Roger Magan said despite the competitive edge the event brings, bragging rights are put aside as teams share information between nations to bring new practices to real-life emergencies.
"Everything that we learn from the competitions that we go to we try to bring back into service and pass on to our colleagues," he said.
"When we turn up to the incidents those little bits of knowledge, those little nuggets of skills, that people have learnt from us and we've learnt ourselves could be the one call between getting a person out safely or not getting them out in enough time."
The Rescue World Challenge is a multi-national competition that sees rescue organisations go head-to-head in a range of scenarios.
Teams in the extrication event are marked on how they manage and carry out a rescue. They aim to complete it in about 15 minutes.
Preparing for competitions is an extra commitment for the full-time firefighters and training is squeezed in between shifts.
"We get together pre-season and get a lot of training in," said station manager Andy Morgan.
"The boys put a lot of time and effort in in their own time to come together to train.
"It's fantastic. A massive achievement - four-times world champions back to back.
"It's just an awesome, awesome feeling to be part of that."