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Action plan . . . Mossburn Volunteer Fire Brigade A team members get ready to use the jaws of life to cut open a car to rescue a passenger in the Otago Southland Road Rescue Challenge at Mossburn on Saturday. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

For the first time in two decades the Otago-Southland Road Crash Rescue Challenge made its mark in Mossburn on Saturday.

The event, held at the old Silver Fern Farms site, featured six teams from Wanaka, Balclutha and Milton and two from Mossburn which honed their skills in different crash scenarios.

Mossburn chief fire officer Lance Hellewell enjoyed hosting the event.

“It was great for the brigade. It was really well supported.

“We’ve always had good support from Mossburn,” Mr Hellewell said.

Community members were the first to volunteer as patients. Trauma scenarios included bullet wounds, dog bites and an amputated limb.

Otago Southland provincial association technical panel member James Hazlett said Mossburn hosted a great competition.

“This event is the one that takes the most organising and getting ready so it’s a real credit to Mossburn for getting it there.

“They did a really great job hosting the event,” Mr Hazlett said.

The teams completed five tasks during the day, including pit work, trauma scenario, CPR, entrapment scenarios and time-critical events.

Each team had six members: an officer in charge, three tool workers, one medic and one medic assist who was on the tools as well, he said.

All aspects of the competition were reviewed by a command, medical and technical judge.

Wanaka finished with top points for the competition, and Milton came a close second.

“At the South Island competition they were there, too – it’s always very close between the two teams.”

Wanaka was the reigning Australasian Rescue Challenge titleholder and will head to the World Rescue Challenge in France in a fortnight.

These competitions provided a platform for the fire brigades to come together, Mr Hazlett said.

“The best thing is the atmosphere and the camaraderie [of] working together.”

He was impressed with the public support the event received.

“There were lots of people around. The public seemed to love it.”

The Mossburn brigade would consider hosting further Otago and Southland events in future.