Extracting victims — and lessons - Metro US

Extracting victims — and lessons

Two firefighting teams from Calgary are going head-to-head with competition from around the globe this weekend during the 2010 North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge.

Teams of six are judged on three different competitions over the weekend, all of which involve rescuing a live victim in a simulated car crash.

“They’ve been practising regularly for the last six months,” said Randy Schmitz, the Calgary team’s coach and organizer of the event. He said while the firefighters are pitted against one another, the event is about honing their skills.

“The guys take home hardware and they get prizes, but the real deal is the learning experience they get,” said Schmitz.

Firefighter Ryan Kingston from Mississauga, Ont., said the weekend is all about camaraderie.

“It’s a community in and of itself,” he said of his fellow firefighters. “What we take away and learn from it is huge and we bring that back to our department.”

The competition takes place at the Coast Plaza Hotel until Saturday. The events run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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