Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Oakville Fire Auto Extrication Team selected to compete in France

By Canadian Firefighter   

Department News News

Oakville, Ont. - The Oakville Fire Department Auto Extrication team has been selected by the Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee to represent Canada and the U.S. at the World Rescue Organization Challenge in La Rochelle, France this September.

The team is comprised of professional firefighters who develop their skills, represent their department and educate the community on their own personal free time. The team was started in 2003 and strives to contribute to the community, and skill development within the fire department.

Competing and learning from other departments all over the world and some of the leading experts in the field of extrication will offer a great opportunity for the team members to gain some new knowledge. This will not only benefit the team members, but will be something the team can bring back to their department and the citizens and visitors of Oakville that we serve.

What is Auto Extrication?
The safe removal and treatment of victims who are trapped by some type of vehicle, machinery or equipment.

Vehicle Rescue Challenges & Learning Symposiums

These events are held across North America and provide emergency services an opportunity to come together and share techniques, new ideas and be exposed to new technology in the field of vehicle extrication. These events ensure departments keep up with changes in vehicle construction, and new innovations in safety. Participation in these events allows emergency responders to gain specialized life-saving knowledge that can be taken back and used in the community we serve. 

The Role of the Team:
• Attend learning symposiums/rescue competitions where the team can learn about new car technology, methods, tool innovations and developments in vehicle construction and safety.
• Practice, develop and apply these skills and techniques to be more efficient in extricating and treating patients at emergency calls.
• Pass on this knowledge to their department so that all rescuers can also effectively rescue and treat victims in a timely manner. 
• Attend Oakville public events and educate the community on vehicle safety and what to do if you are involved in an accident.

The Competition: 
• The team is comprised of six members. A captain, medic and four rescuers.
• The team travels across North America to compete in Auto Extrication against other departments from around the world. There are two 20 minute events and one 10 minute event in which they compete. These events are Unlimited Pit (All tools permitted), Limited Pit (no powered hydraulics permitted. i.e. jaws of life) and the Rapid Pit (10 min event to simulate a patient crashing and needing immediate removal).
• During the different pits, judges follow the team members and grade their performance. Marks are based on command presence and control, patient care, tool use, tool knowledge and overall safety.
• Main Awards - first, second and third for all the pits, Overall award, Best Medic and Best Incident Commander.
• Approximately 20 teams compete and from all over North America and Europe.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Participation in Vehicle Rescue Challenges and Learning Symposiums requires a substantial commitment of time and money. The Town of Oakville, and the Oakville Professional Firefighters Association provide financial and operational support. In order to successfully train and attend Vehicle Rescue Challenges and Learning Symposiums, the team members must raise additional funds to help cover the costs involved. These expenses include entry fees equipment, travel costs and accommodations. These expenses average over $15,000 per year.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities and how you or your department could help out visit the team’s Facebook page.

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