BRACE yourself Port Douglas, the toughest and strongest in the emergency services are coming to town to show-off their skills in a Far Northern firefighter competition this weekend.
This will be the first championships for 18-yearold Porsha Tyrrell and her teammates Ricky Ward (team captain), Danielle Vucas and Wayne Postleweight from the Port Douglas fire service.
The team has been practising twice a week before their general training in preparation of competing against 14 teams from across the region from Cardwell to Thursday Island.
“Our team are all rookies, we have never done it before but it’s been an awesome challenge to practise for the competition and we are building up core skills and everyday skills,” Porsha said.
“In the competition we get a series of events and different scenarios we have practised over and over and firefighters at the station who have done it before said we are progressing a lot.
“The competition is a little bit different to real life, what the judges are strict about in competition mostly doesn’t matter in the real world when you have to save lives - it’s mostly for a bit of fun.”
Mossman Fire service will also be representing our region and competing against the PDFS but it is all in good spirits and the winner will be the team who completes each given scenario the quickest.
“The winner will depend on the fastest time but in saying that if you go very quickly and make too many stuff-ups your time will be extended and you probably won’t win,” Porsha explained.
“Ten seconds is added if you stuff up and sometimes there’s even 20 to 30 second time consequences, it’s better done fast and right.
“The public are welcome to come watch, we encourage the public to come along and perve on the firefighters, I know I’ll be having a perve on all the sweaty tanned abs.”
Northern Command Inspector Neil Fanning said the teams will compete in a series of events and the top two teams will head to the state fire championships, with winners competing in the Australasian champs.
“It’s a team building competition and also about skill and they have been training for months leading up to it and every hour they put into training makes them better firefighters,” he said.
“It goes hand-in-hand with capabilities with firefighting skills, hose-handling, erection of ladders, pump operation.
“It gives a big moral boost to get the team together across the region to have a social weekend with their families. Presentations and awards will be on Sunday afternoon.”