Car­bon­ear firefighters take on FireFit chal­lenge

Nick Ros­siter, Ian Green share ex­pe­ri­ence of re­gional chal­lenge

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Nick Ros­siter and Ian Green re­cently chal­lenged their prow­ess as vol­un­teer firefighters at the re­gional FireFit Chal­lenge.

Ros­siter and Green have been with the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment for ap­prox­i­mately four and three years re­spec­tively. When they heard that the FireFit chal­lenge would be mak­ing its way to Con­cep­tion Bay South, they de­cided to take their skills as firefighters to the next level.

The FireFit chal­lenge is a re­gional com­pe­ti­tion, pit­ting firefighters against the clock in a race through an ob­sta­cle course built to rep­re­sent chal­lenges a fire­fighter may face while on the scene of a real fire.

The chal­lenge sees firefighters suit up in gear and com­plete var­i­ous tasks such as car­ry­ing hefty hoses up six-storey struc­tures, and forced en­try – all things they may have to tackle when re­spond­ing to an emer­gency.

The chal­lenge took place over the course of three days, Aug. 4-6, with those who fin­ished with the best times mov­ing on to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Ros­siter com­pleted the chal­lenge with a fi­nal time of 2:43, while Green came out with a time of 3:05.

“It was an un­real ex­pe­ri­ence, it re­ally was,” said Ros­siter.

“Yeah, it was tough, but we loved it. It was so much fun, and it’s amaz­ing to see all these firefighters come to­gether from all over the place,” Green added. “It wasn’t like ‘ok, these guys are my com­pe­ti­tion, I have to do bet­ter than them.’ It was more like a big fam­ily com­ing to­gether to have fun. Your only com­pe­ti­tion was the clock – ev­ery­one was so sup­port­ive of each other.”

When asked if they would go on to take the chal­lenge again in the fu­ture, both Green and Ros­siter re­sponded with an en­thu­si­as­tic yes.

“It’s funny be­cause, after the chal­lenge, me and Nick said we’d take the rest of Au­gust, and then start train­ing again starting in Septem­ber,” Green ex­plained. “But once the week rolled around again, I woke up one morn­ing and ended up going to the gym. When I was leav­ing, I had a text from Nick that said ‘gym?’ So the whole re­lax­ation thing lasted maybe a day and a half be­fore we were back into it.”

Ros­siter and Green, who both work for East­ern Health, made his­tory as the first two mem­bers of the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment to take on the FireFit chal­lenge.

In or­der to pre­pare, the two had a mock-setup they used to train and prac­tice with for the chal­lenge it­self.

“We did what we could to pre­pare for it, but at the end of the day, there’s noth­ing that re­ally com­pares to ac­tu­ally be­ing there and do­ing the real thing,” Ros­siter said. “It’s an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, no mat­ter how you think you did at the end of the day.”

Both firefighters noted that the amount of sup­port they re­ceived from fel­low mem­bers of the brigade, as well as fam­ily and friends, re­ally helped push them for­ward dur­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. Ros­siter and Green also sported home­made shirts, backed with a logo and “Car­bon­ear FireFit team” branded from shoul­der to shoul­der.

With one chal­lenge un­der their belt, the two firefighters are ea­ger to get back into the groove of train­ing, and look for­ward to their next opportunity to chal­lenge not only them­selves, but also each other’s skills.

“It’s an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence for any fire­fighter, I think. You re­ally get to chal­lenge your­self and push your­self to do as best you can,” said Ros­siter.

“I agree – I think if any­one out there is think­ing about do­ing it, then do it. It doesn’t mat­ter how old you are or how long you’ve been a fire­fighter,” added Green. “There were guys there in their late 50s who have been do­ing it for years, and then you have guys like me, who are in their early 40s and only rook­ies. It’s about the ex­pe­ri­ence over any­thing else.”

Your only com­pe­ti­tion was the clock – ev­ery­one was so sup­port­ive of each other.

— Ian Green

CHRIS LEWIS/ THE COM­PASS

Ian Green (left) and Nick Ros­siter re­cently took part in the FireFit chal­lenge, hosted in Con­cep­tion Bay North.

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