HOT COM­PE­TI­TION

Fin­ley fire­fight­ers fin­ish sec­ond

Southern Riverina news - - News - By Marissa Daly

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS from across south­ern and south-western NSW went head to head at the Fire and Res­cue Fire­fighter Re­gional Cham­pi­onships held in Fin­ley over the week­end.

Scores of spec­ta­tors turned out to watch the hotly con­tested event, which had re­gional fire­fight­ers pit­ted against each other in a range of skill com­pe­ti­tions.

The Fin­ley Fire and Res­cue team was a stand­out at the cham­pi­onships and fin­ished sec­ond be­hind even­tual win­ner Berry.

Third went to the De­niliquin bri­gade, with Tocumwal in sixth place.

Fin­ley got the jump on the other teams early, win­ning the first ma­jor ‘Pump and Lad­der’ event with a time of 29.697 sec­onds.

Fin­ley team mem­ber Cameron Bice said their suc­cess ‘‘ made all the Sun­days (of train­ing) worth it’’.

Fire­fight­ers from eight Fire and Res­cue teams, one Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice (RFS) team and one Vic­to­rian Coun­try Fire Au­thor­ity (CFA) team com­peted in the two-day event, held over Satur­day and Sun­day.

FRNSW As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner and Di­rec­tor of Cham­pi­onships, Jim Hamil­ton, of­fi­cially opened the event on Satur­day.

He said the week­end was a ter­rific op­por­tu­nity to meet fire­fight­ers from across the state.

‘‘It was good to see the ca­ma­raderie amongst all the teams, in­clud­ing the teams from the RFS and CFA, which has helped to strengthen the ties be­tween col­leagues.

‘‘A spe­cial thank you goes to the Fin­ley bri­gade for host­ing the event.

‘‘The cham­pi­onships helped fire­fight­ers hone their life-sav­ing skills and it was great to see Tocumwal and Grif­fith bri­gades com­pet­ing at the re­gional cham­pi­onships for the first time in a long while.’’

A high­light of the week­end’s event, ac­cord­ing to Tocumwal Fire Cap­tain Merv Reid, was an ap­pear­ance from fire­fighter Ken­dell Thomp­son who res­cued 45 peo­ple in this year’s hor­rific Queens­land floods.

Mr Thomp­son is one of few Aus­tralians to re­ceive the Amer­i­can Ben Franklin Award of Valor.

The next round of the FRNSW Fire­fighter Re­gional Cham­pi­onships will be held at Tu­mut on March 24 and 25, 2012.

Brad Arthur, Cam Bice, Bernie Thom­son, Roger Sut­ton and An­drew Wilmot.

Roger Sut­ton from the Fin­ley fire bri­gade in ac­tion on Sun­day. Cour­tesy White­line photography.

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