In­fer­nal olympics

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.”

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