Bristol firefighters are a cut above...

A team from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is almost on top of the world after finishing a fantastic fourth in the world extrication challenge.

The six firefighters from Bristol’s Temple Fire Station formed one of 30 teams in the three day challenge at London’s Excel Centre in Docklands, one this summer’s Olympic venues.

Competitors came from all over the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe, New Zealand, Russia, Ghana, South Africa and Switzerland, with further teams from Canada and the USA in the trauma challenge.

As well as the trauma challenge, rope and rescue and USAR demonstrations, there was a community safety event which attracted more than 8,000 children from across the capital.

There were three scenarios; a 10-minute ‘rapid’, 20-minute ‘standard’ and 30-minute ‘complex’ challenge.

The competition standard across the board was very high, reflected in the results as no team dominated; of nine possible podium places, eight different teams were placed.

This included the AF&RS team, Temple Blue Watch, which finished second in the complex scenario.

In the individual honours, Lee Rogers finished an incredible second in the best medic competition, with Grant Tolley and Dave Britton finishing fifth in the best technical section, backed up by Kev Read and Iain Campbell.

Andy Gee came seventh in the OIC competition.

Overall there a mere handful of points separating the top five teams.

Royal Berkshire FRS retained their overall world title, narrowly beating Spain-Catalonia, with North Yorkshire FRS third, just ahead of Avon.

All eyes will now focus on the UKRO challenge, in Liverpool next July, and the World Rescue Organisation challenge in November in Florida.

The Avon team was Andy Gee, Dave Britton, Grant Tolley, Kev Read, Lee Rogers and Iain Campbell.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Jon Day said: “I am delighted with the success of the Blue Watch team and want to congratulate them on behalf of all their colleagues.

“Avon is quite unusual in having a Watch-based team. Most of the other leading teams are an amalgamation or squad that comes together just for the competitions.

“Iain is now a Watch Manager in People Development but was a member of Blue Watch previously, and has rightly retained his place in the team.

“Finishing fourth in the world challenge is an achievement to be proud of, and a testament to the professionalism, skill and team work of the Temple Blue Watch.”