Drones and virtual reality replaced face-to-face competition in the world-first virtual World Rescue Challenge, with members from NSW State Emergency Service’s (NSW SES) Port Stephens Unit and NSW Ambulance joining forces to represent Australia in the event.
Competing under the name Hunter Valley Rescue, the team of four NSW SES volunteers and two paramedics successfully completed their second challenge on Saturday (27 November), against 20 other teams from around the world including Europe, Asia, America and beyond.
The team was awarded Gold for the XVR Incident Command Challenge, and Silver for the Human Drones Trauma Challenge.
“To win Gold and Silver is a fantastic achievement,” NSW SES Commissioner, Carlene York, said.
“This is the first time a multi-agency team has represented the country in the competition.
“To have our volunteers enter into this competition alongside NSW Ambulance Paramedics is indicative of the real relationships we have.
“The members of our Port Stephens Unit have excellent rescue capabilities, so to see them perform on the world stage is an amazing testament to their professionalism,” she said.
The World Rescue Challenge is an annual event hosted by World Rescue Organisation, where teams are presented with simulated scenarios, which require them to work together to rescue and treat casualties.
This year the event was hosted virtually to ensure the event remained COVID-19 safe.