West Midlands Festival of Rescue in Birmingham: when is it and how can I watch?

Here’s everything you need to know about the festival of rescue this weekend

The UK’s festival of rescue is coming to the West Midlands this weekend (30 September - 1 October).

The Festival of Rescue is the leading rescue competition in the UK, and this year the West Midlands Fire Service will be hosting it in central Birmingham. Hundreds of firefighters from across the UK and beyond will be competing to be crowned best of the best in a range of fire and rescue skills.

The event itself is a unique spectacle with teams assessed as they undertake various challenges in front of a live audience. The festival provides an opportunity for the public to see all aspects of the fire and rescue service that are less well known, and they will also have an opportunity to share key safety and prevention messages.

Fire service challenge

When and where will it take place?

The festival will be taking place at the key site from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games - Smithfield - right in the heart of the city.

Some of the Rope Rescue challenges will take place nearby in Birmingham City Centre.

The festival is open to the public this weekend, 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.

How can I attend?

The event is free so spectators can just turn up and the event will last between 8am - 5pm on both Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, whilst the opening ceremony will take place on Thursday 29 September.

No ticket is required.

Shutterstock image

What will happen?

Competitors from nearly 40 fire and rescue services around the UK and even further afield will be brought together to compete in five challenges: Trauma Care, Rope Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue, Vehicle Extrication and Water Rescue.

This year a further challenge will also be open to all members of the UK Fire and Rescue Service - the UK’s Firefighter Fitness Challenge.

The festival will also include challenges for Fire Cadets and the UK’s Fittest Firefighter contest. Not forgetting the water rescue challenges - at The Lloyds in Ironbridge on 30 Sept and at Bartley Sailing Club, Bartley Green, Birmingham on 1 Octover.

To see more about the festival, visit the website, here.

Voi offering free rides

Voi e-scooters will provide thousands of free e-scooter rides to all firefighters participating at the festival.

The company is also offering special discounts for spectators, offering all riders 50% off three (3) Day Passes to help them travel over the entirety of the event with the voucher code UKRO. Codes must be redeemed and used by 1 October 2022.

Voi will also have a dedicated stand and test track in the main festival space at Smithfield for those curious about making e-scooters part of their daily lives and reducing the need to use their car in the city.

Area Commander Samantha Burton, who is coordinating the festival for West Midlands Fire Service said: “We’re super-excited to be hosting the UKRO Festival of Rescue 2022 and delighted that Voi is supporting this highlight of the fire and rescue year! Firefighters from across the country will be competing and giving our communities a chance to be wowed by their expert rescue skills.

“Thanks to Voi’s generous support they’ll be able to swap their response vehicles and take to two wheels, to see all that Birmingham has to offer! It’s also great that Voi will be joining us at the Smithfield site, giving visitors to the festival a chance to see and safely try a Voi scooter for themselves.”

To access the discounts, visit the Voi website, here.

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