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Search and rescue skills shared in Singapore
Monday 24 December 2018 – 11:00 AM

​Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Firefighters joined their counterparts from across the world in Singapore recently to share specialist skills and knowledge in firefighting and rescue techniques.

The firefighters took part in the annual International Elite Rescuers Exchange (IERE) workshop with emergency services personnel from 11 other countries. The workshop enabled them to not only exchange training skills and knowledge but also get an understanding of rescue operations that will assist in improved understanding and interoperability when responding to international disasters.

DFES Assistant Commissioner Operations Capability Gary Gifford ESM said it was a valuable opportunity for everyone involved to share their expertise and network with fellow firefighters. 

“DFES has strong ties with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and we work closely with them across a broad range of firefighting and search and rescue techniques and best-practice,” Assistant Commissioner Gifford said.

“The SCDF ensure the IERE workshop and challenges are always a great success and DFES benefits from the camaraderie when working closely with their counterparts across the globe.

“The DFES team worked hard during the week and will be able to impart their newly attained knowledge and skills with all firefighting personnel.”

The week culminated in the Singapore Global Firefighter and Paramedic Challenge with firefighters competing in events that demonstrated their rescue capabilities, speed and strength.

DFES Firefighter Josh Caddy finished second in the individual Braveheart challenge, a high tempo and adrenaline-pumped race comprising of 8-stages to test an individual’s strength, agility, skills and most importantly, mental endurance. 

DFES was also victorious in the Rip-it-off challenge with Firefighters Ash Gasmier, April Litterick, Dominic Reay and Nathan Wilcock  working together to manage a road crash rescue scenario, where teams were judged based on their on-site assessment, command and control, vehicle stabilisation, extrication techniques and medical intervention proficiency in the fastest time without breaching any safety rules. 

April was the only female firefighter to attend the workshop and take part in the challenge and said it was a great opportunity to test their skills against some of the best firefighters in the world.

“The entire week was a great experience for me to gain new insights into firefighting and rescue techniques and also get further training in Urban Search and Rescue skills,” April said.

“I also really appreciated the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills with firefighters from countries that don’t have access to some of the training opportunities we have at DFES.

“It gave me an appreciation for the good relationship we have built with Singapore to share expertise and access some of their world class training facilities.”