Rescue crew Australasian champions

After only qualifying for the Australasian Rescue Challenge as a wildcard, the Wanaka road crash...
After only qualifying for the Australasian Rescue Challenge as a wildcard, the Wanaka road crash rescue team won the event, and have qualified for the World Rescue Challenge in France next year. Pictured are team members (clockwise from centre front) Rob Thorp, Mark Strang, Tony Wellman, Travis Purnell, Jodie Rainsford and Jarrod Wellman. PHOTO: AUSTRALASIAN ROAD RESCUE ORGANISATION
The Wanaka road crash rescue team have ``just winged it'' to win the Australasian Rescue Challenge, held in Warragul, Victoria, over the weekend.

The team of six from the Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade had only qualified for the competition as a wildcard, but came up trumps against 17 other teams hailing from around Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

The Wanaka crew were named the best medical team and best technical team, while Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Wellman also won the award for best team leader.

Mr Wellman said he was ``really proud of the team'' and believed they ``just winged it'' in the three-day competition.

It will not be the last winging the team will be doing, as they have qualified for the World Rescue Challenge to be held in France in September 2019.

Despite the great success, Mr Wellman said the skills learnt at such events were the most important thing.

``Whatever we learnt we always took back to the brigade and surrounding brigades. We've had lots of losses along the way, but when you go out on the road and you do what you've learnt in here today and it works and you save a life, you can't beat that, it's better than anything.''

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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