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Australasian Firefighter Championships start in Port Macquarie

Published: 14th October 2011

The hotly-contested Australasian Firefighter Championships will begin in the mid-north coast town of Port Macquarie tomorrow morning, promising a spectacular display of skill and athleticism this weekend.

Leslie Williams, NSW Member for Port Macquarie, said she is looking forward to officially launching the competition, which has attracted more than 140 firefighters from around Australia and across the Tasman.

“It’s a great family event. Members of the public are invited to watch these events over the next two days, including the fastest competitor to climb a six-metre ladder and the team that is quickest to hit two fire targets with a powerful water stream,” Ms Williams said.

“Port Macquarie Fire Brigade won the first National Championships in 2003, and I am sure they want to win the right on their own soil to display the silver trophy in their fire station for the next two years.”

The first National Championships were held in Coffs Harbour in 2003, before the biennial event became an Australasian Championship in 2007. Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner, Greg Mullins, said all 10 events will be held on Westport Reserve.

“Competitors from 28 Australian and New Zealand teams coming to Port Macquarie are all physically fit and have been training hard in various firefighting and rescue scenarios to win the trophy for best team in Australasia,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“All the events in these Championships are based on the real situations that firefighters face daily, such as extinguishing fires in multi-storey buildings or using pumps to draw water from a dam. Every second is critical and events are designed to showcase the talent and expertise firefighters use in a range of difficult situations.

“Firefighters have competed in interstate and trans-Tasman competitions since 1876. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the revival of the tradition, when the Centenary of Federation Fire Brigades Championship was held in Corowa, NSW in 2001.”

Other FRNSW teams from around the state include Kelso, Dorrigo, Glenn Innes, Berry, Scarborough, Bega, Coffs Harbour, Mudgee and an RFS team from Kootingal.