Festival of Rescue

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The United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) “Festival of Rescue” is the leading rescue competition in the UK, and in 2022, West Midlands Fire Service are honoured to be hosting it in Central Birmingham. We will be making use of a key site from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games - Smithfield - right in the heart of Birmingham, ensuring a truly eye-catching location.

We will be bringing together competitors from nearly 40 fire and rescue services around the UK and even further afield to compete in five disciplines: Trauma Care, Rope Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue, Vehicle Extrication and Water Rescue. This year we’re also pleased to be adding a further challenge open to all members of the UK Fire and Rescue Service - the UK’s Firefighter Fitness Challenge.

The event itself is a unique spectacle with teams assessed as they undertake various challenges in front of a live audience. This year will be the most engaging and interactive iteration of the competition yet, with more opportunities to get involved and digital ways to follow the action than ever before.

Keep track of all the latest news, information and updated on this page.

When is it taking place?

The festival is open to the public from 30 September to 1 October, although competitors arrive to attend an opening ceremony on 29 September. Throughout the festival there will be a range of workshops and demonstrations for competitors and the spectators to take part in and watch.

The public elements of the festival, taking place all day 08:00-17:00 on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October are free to attend with no ticket required!

Where will it take place?

Most of the event will take place in Birmingham at Smithfield, the site of the old wholesale markets, which will also be a festival and event site for Commonwealth Games. This well-connected site in central Birmingham will allow us to attract visitors from around the region and further afield.

Some of our Rope Rescue challenges will take place nearby in Birmingham City Centre, making use of local landmarks to really put on a show!

We hope UKRO Festival of Rescue West Midlands will be interactive and engaging for both competitors and the public. We also have a range of digital workshops available to competitors. Visit our competitor site or the UKRO YouTube channel to see them.

Why are West Midlands Fire Service hosting the event?

Hosting the UKRO Challenge is not only a great honour, but also a chance to promote our service, continuing to build strong relationships with the public, partners and other fire and rescue services.

It is also an opportunity to shine a light on aspects of the fire and rescue service that are less well known, and we will also have an opportunity to share key safety and prevention messages.

UKRO as an organisation is focused on constantly improving skills and standards in rescue, which fits perfectly with our own commitment to excellence. The workshops held as part of the event, alongside the training for the competition itself, will be excellent opportunities to share knowledge and improve the rescue capability of firefighters across the UK.

Festival news

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