SOME of the best firefighters from around NSW are set to descend upon Gunnedah for this year’s Regional Fire and Rescue Championships.
Gunnedah Fire and Rescue 314 will play host to the event at Woolshed Reserve and will see some of the state’s best firefighters battle it out in a variety of competitions.
Gunnedah Fire and Rescue Captain Dave Welch told The Namoi Valley Independent a lot of work had gone into organising the event.
“It’s all coming together nicely right now, we are expecting about 25 different teams to take part in the championships,” Captain Welch said.
“Those teams will be made up of four or so members and they will come from all around the region such as Tamworth and Armidale and will also include some local Rural Fire Service teams as well.”
The championships will put the teams through their paces in a variety of practical competitions.
“Pretty much all of the challenges and competitions during the two days will be something practical a firefighter would use in day-to-day operations,” Captain Welch said. “These events are a really good opportunity especially for younger firefighters who are just breaking in, to really develop their practical skills.”
Long-term Gunnedah firefighter Sam Turner said the event’s social aspects are always a strong incentive for traveling firefighters.
“The comrade and the chance to socialise with your fellow firefighters is something I always look forward to,” Mr Turner said.
“It’s always a good chance to network, get to know other people in the job and share a pretty memorable experience.” Fire and Rescue regional events co-ordinator Mark Rutter said the event is shaping up to be one of the best to date. “I think it’s looking like it’s going to be an excellent championships,” Mr Rutter said.
“They are always a good event in my opinion, and with the effort that’s being put into this one I think it’s shaping up to be a cracker.”
Captain Welch said the two competing Gunnedah teams will be looking to take top honours from the championships. “There will be some strong competition throughout the weekend I think,” he said.
“We are keen to go well and we will be giving it a red hot crack to do as well as we possibly can.”
The event will kick off on Friday evening with a registration night at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club.
“We will also be having a social ball night at the club on the Saturday night as well,” Captain Welch said.
“Without our sponsors like McDonalds, the Stripes Group of Companies, The Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club and of course Gunnedah Shire Council who have done a great job getting the grounds ready, we wouldn’t be able to do this and hopefully we see a lot of people come along and take a look.”