The University of Birmingham Life Saving Club sent a squad with great strength in it’s depth; fielding four complete teams for the third competition of the British University Life Saving Clubs Association (BULSCA) league competition of the season in Bristol at the weekend.
The teams faced a tricky dry incident, where their ability to control the chaos that ensued from an indoor skateboarding ramp accident combined with an accident prone team of set designers, while treating casualties for injuries varying from electrocution to head impacts and heart attacks to shock.
Teamwork is vital to a successful incident and Birmingham’s A team put their training to good use finishing a place above the B team in 7th and 8th respectively. The C team struggled to keep contact with main rivals Warwick C and London C, finishing in 21st, while the D team surprised many spectators with a 14th place finish.
Teams then progressed onto a wet incident where their ability to perform effective rescues under the control of their captain is tested to further extremes as the four-man teams faced an aquatic environment with 7 victims in need of treatment in a 33m pool.
Birmingham’s A and B teams completed the wet incident with a symmetry to their results, this time it was Birmingham’s B team in 7th and the A team close behind in 8th. Birmingham’s D team achieved consistency in their performance, beating all other D teams into another 14th place. The C team was unable to make any ground with a 10th place result.
As the competition progressed onto the speed events it was clear that the fitness of the Birmingham squad was proving to be a great strength. The B team qualified for the fastest heat of the Swim and Tow relay, while the A team, who currently lead the league, took yet another 6 seconds off their time to win the event- pushed for the duration of the event by the B team before slipping into 6th position, yet finishing above all other B teams. Birmingham’s C team began to claw back towards their rivals with a 17th place finish and in a Warwick-London sandwich.
The D team was unfortunate in not capitalizing on their strong incidents, finishing 23rd in the Swim and Tow relay. Teams then competed in arguably the most testing speed event, the 4x50m medley relay. Swimmer one leads off the event with 50m freestyle, before swimmer 2 takes over and swims the same distance wearing fins. Swimmer 3 then swims their leg with a rescue tube in tow before changing over with swimmer 4 who takes the rescue tube and tows swimmer 3 to finish the event.
Having watched the C and D teams race in the same heat and achieve 20th and 21st in a close fought battle, the A team found themselves facing the B team as the only B team to qualify for the fastest heat. The A team lead the relay, only to be disqualified for an illegal final changeover while the B team put in a strong performance to earn themselves a 3rd place finish.
An unusual result in the rope throw left the A, B and C teams in equal 10th while the D team finished in a respectable 19th; leaving the final results wide open. Following a judges meeting the provisional results were announced, the C team in 24th, unable to make up ground on the early lead of London and Warwick C.
Birmingham’s D team finished in a very strong 16th, their highest finish of the season. Birmingham A finally relinquished their stranglehold on the BULSCA A league with an 8th place finish; a result that sees them knocked off the top of the league by a single point, Warwick now the team heading the table.
The B team from Birmingham however, showed little remorse when further distancing themselves from the rest of the B teams- a 4th place finish at Bristol, meaning the team has taken all 30 of the points available to them so far this season in the BULSCA B league.