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Award unveiled at extrication challenge

Feb. 3, 2011 – The Wayne Topping Medic award was unveiled during the 2010 North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge, held from Sept. 19 to 25, 2010, in Calgary.

The prestigious award honours Wayne Topping, a Burlington, Ont., firefighter and father of three who died while representing the Burlington Fire Department at the 2007 International Extrication Challenge in Indianapolis.

The award is given directly to the highest overall scoring medic on a team. Nine judges from the unlimited, limited and rapid challenge scenarios determine the winner; judging criteria such as the effective recognition and treatment of life-threatening injuries, continued communication between the patient and the rescue, and proper and effective spinal immobilization.

“The idea for the award was suggested by me to former TERC Canada Chairman Bruce Montone, Deputy Chief of the Ottawa Fire Services, however I think there may have been a few members from with the TERC Canada membership to suggest we come up with an award for Wayne in his honour because he was such a dedicated team member and just lived for extrication challenges and the quest to always improve himself,” said Randy Schmitz, event chair.

Schmitz, the Calgary Fire Department and members of the Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association spent two years preparing for this challenge and ensuring its success. Canada and the United States take turns hosting North American and international teams every year. Last year’s challenge was held in Puyallup, Wash. The Calgary Fire Department had previously hosted the Western Canadian challenge and several regional Alberta challenges, but this was the first time the international event was held in Calgary.

Next year’s event will be held in Myrtle Beach, S.C. For more information, visit

February 3, 2011 
By Stefanie Wallace

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