Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Kaohsiung team wins rope event at international event

DETERMINED TO WIN:Team members were so unhappy with their performance last year, they paid their own way to this year’s competition

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Members of the Kaohsiung Rope Rescue Team on Saturday hold the national flag as they celebrate winning the rope rescue event at the Grimpday international competition for search and rescue teams in Namur, Belgium.

Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Fire Department Special Rescue Battalion Commander Wang Po-jen

The Kaohsiung Rope Rescue Team on Saturday was named the winner of the rope rescue event at Grimpday, an international competition for search and rescue teams, held last week in Namur, Belgium.

The team is made up of firefighters from Kaohsiung and a few colleagues from Chiayi and Miaoli county departments.

The national flag was displayed at the awards ceremony, Kaohsiung Fire Department Special Rescue Battalion Commander Wang Po-jen (王伯仁) said.

Rope rescue involves rappelling and scaling, he said.

Teams in the three-day competition, which began on Thursday, faced fitness and technical challenges, including simulated rescue operations in mockups of a drainage pipe, a sheer wall, a castle, two bridges, a dam and a school, he said.

The Kaohsiung team beat about 30 teams to win the award, Wang said.

“Our entire unit, including Fourth District Chief Wang Tsung-chan (王宗展), was happy to hear the news,” he said.

The team members organized their participation on their own initiative, using off-duty time to train and paid their own way to Belgium, he said.

The team had competed last year on a municipal grant, but only placed 10th, and the members were so unhappy with their performance that they decided to use their own funds to go this year, he said, adding that he was proud of their resolve.

The 14 Kaohsiung’s Special Rescue Battalion firefighters are assigned to the Fourth District Headquarters and are responsible for an area covering Nanzih (楠梓) and Zihguan (梓官) districts, as well as providing backup to other firefighters.

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