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NSW Firefighters strike Gold at World Games

Published: 30th September 2011

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters have won 35 medals - including 10 gold medals - at the World Police and Fire Games held earlier this month in New York.

The games are the second-largest multi-sporting competition in the world and were held in New York in the lead up to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. One hundred and eighty FRNSW firefighters joined an estimated 15,000 other competitors from around the world.

The FRNSW team competed in a number of events, including rugby - for which they won three gold medals - athletics, swimming, soccer, rowing, boxing and surfing.

FRNSW even fielded two dodge ball teams, that both came forth in their respective divisions despite the team members never having played the game before. One of the teams watched the 2004 movie “Dodgeball” starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to learn the rules. The other team, called the Drop Bears, took their role in the games more seriously and did some preparation before heading to New York.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Jim Smith congratulated the men and women who travelled to New York and competed in their own time and at their own expense.

“This was FRNSW’s biggest contingent of fire and rescue officers to ever compete abroad at the World Police and Fire Games and it shows their dedication to sport,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Smith, who went to New York and competed in one of the FRNSW soccer teams, said.

“We won medals in Rugby 7’s, swimming, boxing, rowing, surfing and track and field.

“Fitness is an essential component to being a firefighter so it is only natural FRNSW attracts many men and women who have strong sporting backgrounds. Communities across New South Wales should be reassured that there are so many very fit firefighters.

“In what I hope will be an omen for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, the New South Wales team won Rugby 7’s gold in the Over 45 Men’s and the Open Women’s, as well as picking up silver in the Over 35 Men’s.

“We also won gold medals in swimming and surfing and one of our part-time firefighters from Kariong on the NSW Central Coast won the 100 metres hurdles.

“This is excellent preparation our team in the lead up to the World Firefighters Games being held in Sydney in October next year,” he said.