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Visiting the festival of rescue


We are inviting schools from across the West Midlands to join us on Friday 30th September to see their local fire service teams in action during the UKRO Challenge, and to learn more about the work of the fire service, the importance of fire and road safety, and what it takes to become a firefighter.

This will be a hugely exciting and engaging event, with firefighters abseiling from tall buildings, cutting open cars, rescuing people from open water and competing in live, timed fitness challenges. We can promise lots of action, noise and learning opportunities which should keep your students engaged for the whole trip!

The event is completely free to attend and we will provide a dedicated guide to help you and your class get the most out of the day, including developing a bespoke itinerary for your visit. We will also be able to provide you with details of our risk assessments to help you plan for the day.

There will be opportunities for students to ask questions as well as observe live demonstrations, and plenty of interactive elements in our community safety village. As the event will be taking place all throughout Friday, there's plenty of flexibility about when the visit can take place, and a drop off site for coaches at the Smithfield site. Students will be able to follow up after the event with videos and results being posted on our website, and links shared with all visiting schools.

Take a look through the sections below to find out more about what will be on offer, and how you can go about arranging your visit.

The festival site

UKRO 2022 Smithfield Festival of Rescue Map

The main festival site will be at Smithfield in Birmingham City Centre on the same site that hosted the basketball and volleyball during the Commonwealth Games. This will play host to most of our challenges, as well as our community village and catering facilities.

The Water Rescue challenge will take place at The Lloyds, Ironbridge (30th Sept) and at Bartley Sailing Club, Bartley Green (1st Oct). Some of our rope rescue events will also be taking place at sites around the city centre. All are free to visit.

Challenge events

The main part of the Festival of Rescue are the Challenge Events. UKRO 2022 is a national competition where firefighters test their skills in a range of disciplines in a competitive environment. They are scored by expert judges, with the best teams receiving awards at the end of the Festival. Click each of the tabs below to find out more about the challenges that you will see during the event.

Water Rescue Boat with three occupants


Water Rescue Challenge - Ironbridge, Shropshire & Bartley Sailing Club, Bartley Green

For this challenge, teams will use a boat and other specialist equipment to rescue a casualty from the water, assess them and bring them to safety.

Each team will consist of three people, including an officer in command and a medic. They will take part in two different scenarios - one at Bartley Sailing Club, Bartley Green (a “still water” challenge) and another on the River Severn at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire (a “swift water” challenge).

This challenge will take place at Bartley Reservoir, so spectators will be near the water while observing. There will be barriers in place, but this should be factored into any risk assessment.

This will be an opportunity to not only talk to students about the role of the fire and rescue service, but also the importance of water safety, and the need to behave responsibly around bodies of water.

Find out more

You can find out more about the Festival of Rescue by exploring the website, including our fantastic Summer of Rescue events and more information about the competitors.

There will also be regular updates on our Twitter account and you can find out more information about our work with Schools and the work of UKRO using the links below.

If you have any questions or need further information, click the link below to fill out our contact form - we're happy to help.

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