A specially trained fire and rescue team from New South Wales is rescuing victims of an earthquake in Brisbane.

It’s all part of an exercise to achieve an international accreditation with the United Nations.

Camille McLachlan reports.


The UN accreditation positions fire and rescue squads among the top teams in the world.

Queensland received the same accreditation in 2008 and has been assisting New South Wales this week.

Supt Warwick Kidd, Fire & Rescue NSW: “We’ve been working with our Queensland colleagues for many years to ensure that Australia is well placed in the international spectrum for urban search and rescue.”

If they are successful, the 72-person task force will be one of around thirty teams in the world with this classification.

Supt Warwick Kidd, Fire & Rescue NSW: “Throughout the United Nations there is a classification process for international urban search and rescue teams to ensure that when disasters strike, only the best teams are called to go and fight the life and death battles that take place.”

Both Queensland and New South Wales Fire and Rescue teams were called overseas to assist in Christchurch and Japan’s recent natural disasters.

The classification exercise is designed to simulate real scenarios similar to these, usually involving a collapse with someone trapped underneath.

John Denny, Team Leader: “You can’t compare operating in a real environment to just exercising. So our experience in those real disasters has proven invaluable in preparation for this particular exercise.”

The team is being assessed by peer classifiers from seven different countries around the world.

The New South Wales team are confident they will receive the accreditation. They will get an idea of their results tomorrow and will have the official answer later this year.

Camille McLachlan, QUT News.