Wild-card Wanaka Team Takes Out Australasian Crash Rescue Competition

We love hearing about amazing electricians out there doing awesome things and you can’t get much more awesome than showing our Aussie neighbours how crash rescue is done. Electrician Tony Wellman, of Wellman Electrical, has been working with Ideal for 10 years so when it came time to support him and his team at the Australasian Rescue Challenge this year, it was a no brainer.

Rescue challenge events involve different teams competing in rescue scenarios which are to be completed as skillfully and quickly as possible. Although his time in crash rescue competition has always been exciting, it was tragedy that set Tony onto this path. After being a respondent on the scene at the car accident that killed Possum Bourne in Cardrona, he became interested in how to get useful training to respond to crash incidents. Getting involved in these competitions seemed like the perfect training.

After coming 6th in the New Zealand National competition this year, Tony’s team of 6 (all members of the Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade) managed to gain a wildcard entry into the Australasian competition held in Warragul. The teams who come first and second place at the national competition are always put forward to represent New Zealand, and the team who get the highest ranking but haven’t already been to the Australasians get the wild card entry. Winning the Australasian competition is practically unheard of for a wildcard team.

Tony, Jarrod, and the team were tested on three major road crash rescue scenarios, all set within 30 minutes. Throughout, they were assessed on command, technical, and medical skills.

The first is the “Immediate” scenario where the “patient” will be in desperate need of help and you do what you can to help them before it’s too late. Tony and the Wanaka team took this one out, showing teams from Australia and Hong Kong how it’s done. They came second in “Entrapped”, the next challenge, where a patient is difficult to access and treat, requiring the use of hydraulic tools to get them out. They also came second in the last challenge, ‘Controlled”, where there are two patients and teams must assess who needs immediate attention, getting both out as quickly as possible.

With their impressive placings in each scenario, the Wanaka team managed to take out three important titles including best technical team, best medical team and Tony was even awarded best team leader before being crowned winners of the entire competition.

“It almost got embarrassing at the end having our names called out so many times, I think we went up on the stage seven times,” Tony shared. “It was mindblowing. We couldn’t believe it, especially as the wild card.

“Ideal Electrical was a huge help to the team, providing safety helmets and covering flights and accommodation for the team.”

After taking out the Australasian competition, the Wanaka team will be heading to the World Rescue Challenge to be held in France in September 2019. The Ideal Electrical team will be cheering them on as they take on the rest of the world and do New Zealand proud.