LOCAL Fire and Rescue NSW members have declared the weekend’s Regional Fire and Rescue Championships in Gunnedah a success.
Teams from across the state gathered over Saturday and Sunday to battle it out in a variety of events including ladder carrying drills and hose runs.
The team from Bega Fire and Rescue took out top honours at the event with several local crews performing strongly.
Fire and Rescue Zone Commander, Tom Cooper told The Namoi Valley Independent he thought the event was “a raging success”.
“It was terrific to see teams come from far and wide to take part in what was an awesome event,” Commander Cooper said.
“The teams will take so many practical skills from the competition that they can use in their day-to-day work and I think everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to socialise and network with their fellow firefighters.”
Commander Cooper said many of the region’s teams performed well at the event.
“There was a particularly strong showing from the crew from Armidale who I think finished in the top five or six teams,” he said.
“It was also good to see teams from Kootingal and Tamworth Rural Fire Service come along and perform well with Kootingal taking out second place.
“Also, the team from West Tamworth had a strong showing and for that particular young group there will be plenty of positives to take out of the event.”
Gunnedah Fire and Rescue Captain Dave Welch said he was very pleased with how the event went.
“To me it was a fantastic success,” Captain Welch said.
“There were some very well drilled and determined teams at the event and I want to congratulate Bega on coming out on top and everyone on giving it a red hot crack.
“It really was a credit to Bega, they trained very hard coming into the event and it certainly showed in their result.”
Captain Welch said the social aspect of the event was very enjoyable.
“All the competitors got together for a dinner at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club on the Saturday night which was great,” he said.
“It was a really relaxing social night which gave everyone the opportunity to network with other firefighters and enjoy each others company.
“I think everyone would have picked up some really handy tips and advice from other firefighters on how they do things, which I think will be invaluable going forward.”
Packing up of the event is expected to be completed later in the week.
“At this stage I think we should have everything packed up by about Wednesday,” Captain Welch said.
“We had about 12 of us there on Sunday immediately following the event so I would say that by Wednesday everything should be squared away.”
The Gunnedah captain praised the work of Gunnedah Shire Council in preparing Woolshed Reserve for the event.
“All of the credit for the grounds should go to council,” he said.
“They did terrific job getting it ready and with all the water that was getting around over the weekend the grounds held up really well.”
Commander Cooper encouraged more of the region’s crews to get involved in upcoming events.
"There is another event coming up in Griffith in August,” he said.
“All of the points the teams acquired throughout this event and the upcoming events will help them in qualifying for the Australasian Championships in Tamworth next year, which should be a massive event.”