World's Top Firefighters Go For Gold at Rescue 'Olympics'The world’s top teams will be showcasing their skills in Hampshire this week at what has been dubbed “the firefighter Olympics”.

The UK Rescue Organisation (UKRO) 2016 Challenge will see the best teams showcase their skills as the service throws open its doors to the public.

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Crowds can watch the elite crews test their mettle in a series of thrilling challenges from 10am to 4pm on Saturday (Sept 10).

There will be simulations in the fields of extrication, trauma management, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), rope rescue, water rescue and, for the first time, animal rescue.

The public open day will also give children the chance to climb aboard a real fire engine, dress up as a firefighter and take on the fire kit challenge.

In addition families can get safety tips aboard the hazard bus or by picking up Susie the Childminder’s new books.

People will also get the chance to meet the Prince’s Trust fire service team.

The event, this year hosted by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, will run for three days starting with an opening ceremony on Thursday (Sept 8).

Crowds are expected to gather at the Eastleigh HQ to watch the teams compete on Saturday but due to the activities taking place there will be no onsite parking so the public are encouraged to use public transport.

UKRO chairman Steve Apter, who is also Assistant Chief Officer at HFRS, said: “This is basically the firefighter Olympics. Leaders in their fields take on the toughest challenges and share skills.

“We are passionate about driving up standards of professional rescue and also to support colleagues around the world in improving standards.

“Involvement in UKRO activities offers participants the opportunity to advance their own professional skills.”

There will be 65 teams taking part including the national champions from Germany and Luxemburg as well as the recently crowned Europeans champions in extrication and trauma from Hampshire.

All events will be onsite except for the water rescue which will take place at Lakeside Country Park, Eastleigh.

There will be no public parking on the Leigh Road site. However, a drop-off point will be available for those requiring disabled access.

The nearest car parks and railway station are in Eastleigh town centre which is approximately a 15-minute walk.

Alternatively members of the public can catch the X6/X7 bus which runs from Eastleigh bus station to Chandlers Ford and stops directly outside the site.

There will be refreshments and toilet facilities available.

To find out more visit the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at