11 Mar 2015

Fire Service awarded UN classification

5:57 pm on 11 March 2015

The Fire Service Search and Rescue team has secured United Nations classification following an intense 36 hour exercise.

During the exercises rescuers drill through concrete to get to trapped 'victims'.

During the exercises, rescuers had to drill through concrete to get to trapped 'victims'. Photo: RNZ / Michael Allan

Eight UN classifiers examined the team as it went through mock search-and-rescue missions at an abandoned freezing works south of Palmerston North.

Out of 136 categories assessed, the search and rescue team gained the highest rating in all but seven of them - meaning they meet international best practice and can be relied on in emergencies.

National Commander of the Fire Service Paul Baxter said the result reflected years of work to raise the team's capability to world-class standards.