NSW Fire and Rescue Gunnedah will play host to the 2018 Regional Fire and Rescue Championships in March 2018

PLAYING HOST: The Gunnedah Fire and Rescue team will host the 2018 NSW Regional Fire and Rescue Championships. Photo: Billy Jupp

PLAYING HOST: The Gunnedah Fire and Rescue team will host the 2018 NSW Regional Fire and Rescue Championships. Photo: Billy Jupp

The best firefighters in regional NSW will descend on Gunnedah in March of 2018.

Crews from all over the state will be put through their paces in the NSW Fire and Rescue championships.

Gunnedah Fire and Rescue captain David Welch said his team are looking forward to hosting next year’s competition.

“We are definitely pleased to be hosting the championships,” Mr Welch said.

“It will give our guys the chance to enhance our operational skills as well as meet new people and have fun in a team environment.”

It is the second time the team from Gunnedah will host the championships and deputy captain Andrew Johns said a great deal of pride will be on the line.

“There are a number of prizes up for grabs but the main ones are pennants for each event,” Mr Johns said.

“You hang them on the wall in your station and they are like a ‘brag’ wall in a sense because they symbolise the fact you competed in those championships and won that event.

“The championships have been going for well over 100 years and you take a lot of pride out of winning at them.” 

Mr Welch said the championships provided firefighters an opportunity to interact with their peers.

“It really does give them the chance to mingle and build a strong sense of camaraderie,” he said.

The Gunnedah captain said the championships were open to teams from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) as well as NSW Fire and Rescue.

“They are open to the RFS as well,” he said.

“We definitely want to encourage any RFS crews, especially the local ones to get involved and have a crack.”

Gunnedah Shire Council have thrown their support behind the championships.

At the October council meeting a letter from Mr Welch asking for assistance in hosting the championships was acknowledged and council resolved to support the event through extra waste removal and maintenance. 

Gunnedah Shire Council General Manager Eric Groth said council was proud to help host the event.

“We are very proud Gunnedah was chosen to host the Fire and Rescue NSW Regional Championships next year,” Mr Groth said.

Mr Groth also said the event would be economically beneficial for the region.

“The event is also a great asset to our town, with up to 1500 people visiting Gunnedah over that weekend.

“Council continues to support the event by maintaining the Woolshed Reserve and more recently allocated funding to provide and collect bins for the event.”

“We wish our local firefighters all the best in the event.”