Finley firefighters finish second
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.