Port Macquarie heats up for firefighting championship

Published: 18th August 2017

Port Macquarie firefighters will pit their skills against the state’s best when they host the Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Regional Firefighter Championship at Westport Park this weekend. 

Retained firefighters from more than 20 brigades from as far afield as Armidale, Bega, Dubbo, Goonellabah, Merrylands, Nowra and Ulladulla will converge on Port Macquarie to take part in the championships.

They will be joined by crack Rural Fire Service crews from Kootingal, Tamworth and Wadalba, who are sure to make a strong showing on behalf of their volunteer colleagues.

FRNSW Commissioner, Paul Baxter QSO wished all teams the best of luck in the third and final round of the 2017 Regional Firefighter Championships.

“Firefighters train for this event for many months and there is a strong competitive streak within the brigades to prove who is the top team,” he said.

“The championships are designed to be exciting and fun, but also have the more serious purpose of honing skills that are critical to our firefighters in real emergencies.”

The two-day competition will test the skills, professionalism and training of the state’s regional firefighters, with events simulating fire and rescue situations. Port Macquarie won at home in 2013 and will be among the teams to beat this weekend.

Commissioner Baxter urged anyone who may be interested in becoming a retained, or on-call, firefighter to come along to the championships to talk to brigade members and learn more about the job.

“Retained firefighters respond to emergencies from work or home and play a vital role in ensuring the safety of people, property and the environment across hundreds of regional communities in NSW,” he said.

“They are trained and equipped to deal with the same emergencies as full-time firefighters and are dedicated and passionate about what they do – and you can witness that skill and commitment first hand this weekend.”

Commissioner Baxter will officially open the championships at 9.00am on Saturday.

All events, community safety demonstrations and activities will be held at Westport Park, Port Macquarie from 8.00am Saturday to 2.00pm Sunday. Entry is free.