To be held for the first time in São Brás de Alportel, the National Rescue Championships are open to the public and will take place on June 10, 11 and 12.
Each team consisting of six people will previously have competed in heats. On the days of the championship, the 20 finalists will be put through their paces to show they can successfully deal with an emergency.
Simulating a variety of situations, the annual competition assesses the skills of firemen, ambulance crews and paramedics.
Specifically each team is given 20 minutes to react to an unexpected emergency or accident. They are scrutinised by a panel of judges appointed by the National Rescue Association.
Standing behind barriers, members of the public can watch as complex situations and injuries are dealt with and resolved. It is a fascinating process to witness how calm and meticulous training are put into practice to speedily deal with a potential life or death crisis.
Using a set of strict criteria, the winning team is awarded a trophy. Portugal has a reputation to live up to, as last year’s world champions was a crew from Lisbon.
Additionally, members of the Algarve Photography Group, based at São Brás Museum, have been invited to record the event. Turning the tables on the photographers, the Bombeiros are to be given the opportunity of judging the pictures and awarding one photograph with the winning prize.
The National Rescue Championships of Portugal is organised by Daniel Pereira of the Bombeiros of São Brás de Alportel and will be held alongside the São Brás football ground from 8am to 6pm. The prize-giving ceremony will take place between 1pm and 4pm on June 12. Food will be available on site.
By CAROLYN KAIN