Fi­re­figh­ters test their skills

Vision (Canada) - - Sports - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

Fi­re­figh­ters from eve­ry sta­tion in Haw­kes­bu­ry and even crews from other de­part­ments around Pres­cott-Rus­sell and beyond will ga­ther at Con­fe­de­ra­tion Park on l’Île du Che­nail this wee­kend. But it’s not an emer­gen­cy that will bring them out in strength, just a chance to have some fun and prove which com­mu­ni­ty has the best fi­re­figh­ters, at the fourth an­nual Haw­kes­bu­ry Fi­re­figh­ters’ Chal­lenge.

“We ex­pect at least bet­ween 25 to 30 par­ti­ci­pants, five or six teams, at least,” said Pa­trick Mayer, spo­kes­man for the event and a full-time mem­ber of the Haw­kes­bu­ry Fire Ser­vices. “Usual­ly we (Haw­kes­bu­ry) have at least 10 people who com­pete.”

The Fi­re­figh­ters’ Chal­lenge is an an­nual com­pe­ti­tive event that most mu­ni­ci­pal and re­gio­nal fire de­part­ments in North Ame­ri­ca and other coun­tries around the world host. There is al­so an in­ter­na­tio­nal com­pe­ti­tion, which has seen ei­ther in­di­vi­duals or teams of fi­re­figh­ters from Eas­tern On­ta­rio com­pete.

The aim of the Chal­lenge is two-fold: to have fun and to al­so chal­lenge par­ti­ci­pants on the skills they need for their task of figh­ting fires and sa­ving lives.

“It’s just two mi­nutes,” Mayer said about the time li­mit set for com­pe­ti­tors to com­plete all five sta­tions of the Chal­lenge. “But it’s the har­dest two mi­nutes ever. We’re tal­king muscle, car­dio, eve­ry­thing.”

In­di­vi­dual com­pe­ti­tors and re­lay team each have to com­plete five tasks: the to­wer climb, pa­cking the hose, ham­me­ring the kai­ser, hit­ting a tar­get with a pres­su­ri­zed stream of wa­ter, and the dum­my drag.

Along with the re­gu­lar com­pe­ti­tors’ events, there will be an Open Ca­te­go­ry for anyone 18 years or ol­der who would like to test their met­tle against the Chal­lenge. There will al­so be fun ac­ti­vi­ties for chil­dren set up at the park while the Chal­lenge is on.

The fun and com­pe­ti­tion run from 1 to 4 p.m. and those in­ter­es­ted in trying the Chal­lenge them­selves can contact Mayer at mayer_­pat@ya­hoo.ca.

—pho­to ar­chives

Les pom­piers se poussent à la li­mite lors du Dé­fi des pom­piers. Le Ser­vice des in­cen­dies de Haw­kes­bu­ry se­ra l’hôte du qua­trième Dé­fi an­nuel des pom­piers, le 9 sep­tembre, au Parc de la Con­fé­dé­ra­tion sur l›Île du Che­nail.

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