Crash rescue team closes in on target

Team members (clockwise from centre front) Rob Thorp, Mark Strang, Tony Wellman, Travis Purnell,...
Team members (clockwise from centre front) Rob Thorp, Mark Strang, Tony Wellman, Travis Purnell, Jodie Rainsford and Jarrod Wellman, after their victory at the Australian Rescue Challenge last year. Absent is Justin Stowell. PHOTO: AUSTRALASIAN ROAD RESCUE ORGANISATION
Dreams of competing on the world stage look set to come true for a group of Wanaka firefighters.

The Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade's seven-person road crash rescue team is nearing its fundraising targets for its trip to the World Rescue Challenge in France this September.

The team qualified for the competition after winning the Australasian Rescue Challenge last July, and has been fundraising ever since.

Team member Jodie Rainsford said $28,000 was donated by the Charity Classic golf tournament auction held last weekend, which brought the total amount raised so far to $40,000.

The team needs to raise an additional $10,000 to $20,000 in order to cover travel expenses and entry fees, she said.

A "huge number of generous donations'' had been given to the team by businesses in Wanaka, Queenstown and the West Coast.

"We have been very impressed by the support we have been given and are very grateful.''

The team has been training and has two major competitions before it heads to Europe later in the year.

First, it will travel to Rotorua in June to compete in the national championships, before heading to New South Wales in late July to defend its title at the Australasian Rescue Challenge.


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