If sporting competitions are your thing, then I think I might be able to tell you about something that will assuage those post-Olympics blues – the World Rescue Challenge, which takes place at London’s ExCeL centre from Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 October 2012.
Organised by the fire safety industry, this three-day festival is being described as the ‘firefighter Olympics’. Teams of firefighters from across the world will compete in challenges to see who is the most efficient and effective at their job. Of course the challenges will be rescue-themed, so amongst other events there will be the fastest team to free a passenger from a crashed car, the most effective first aid administered and a potential mock victim of drowning in the docks outside will be rescued by speed boats. There’ll also be abseiling challenges and demonstrations of other firefighting techniques and equipment. It all sounds very exciting doesn’t it?
The venue will also host ‘Community Safety World’, which will educate families about the fire hazards associated with the home and general fire safety, and there will be opportunities to meet firefighters and the special dogs that are employed in the forensic examination of sites that have been destroyed by fire. If the exploits of firefighters don’t excite you, then how about footballers? Players from West Ham United will also be in attendance, taking part in a penalty shootout with visitors.
The World Rescue Challenge will be completely free of charge to attend – the best way to get to ExCeL is to arrive on the Docklands Light Railway, alighting at either Custom House or Prince Regent stations. I’ll definitely be going along to photograph the proceedings!