THINGS are about to get hot on Westport Park with firefighters from across New South Wales set to converge on Port Macquarie in August for a state round of the National Firefighter Championships.
Considered a coup for the Port Macquarie region, more than 40 teams from across the state including Rural Fire Service crews from Victoria will compete at Westport Park on August 19-20 for a place at the national titles in New Zealand.
Port Macquarie’s Fire and Rescue NSW squadron will field a record four teams – a first for the competition in more than two decades.
The Port Macquarie team will be the one to beat with a successful medal haul history boasting seven state and one national title. They walked away at the Queensland Fire and Rescue state championships in 2012 with two medals and took the title at the last event hosted by the neighbouring northern state.
Captain Damian Buchtmann said the championship event in Port Macquarie will be one to watch and invites the community to come and cheer on the hometown teams.
“It will be a free activity for our community to watch and enjoy. Money raised through our raffles and auctions will also be put towards hosting these championships,” Mr Buchtmann said.
“In fact Port Macquarie will be putting at least three, and maybe four teams, in the championship. In the 22 years I’ve been in the brigade no other station has done this before. And that just shows the level of commitment to bettering ourselves and the community.”
Port Macquarie has qualified to represent NSW at the Australasian Championships held in Carterton, New Zealand in November. Six competitors will compete and fundraising will assist their endeavours.
Firefighter Championships, previously known as demonstrations, began Volunteer Brigades and Insurance Brigades in metropolitan Sydney.
The championships have a rich history with teams from throughout NSW competing to hone their skills and enhancing their focus on community protection.
“The events simulate standard firefighting operations from all types of incidents including structure fire, bush fires, or rescues and are a valuable way for firefighters to practice and maintain their firefighting skills,” Mr Buchtmann explained.
“Port Macquarie Fire and Rescue provides a vital service to the community and we would greatly appreciate any assistance that your organisation can provide in their quest to host the 2017 Regional Firefighter Championship. Your sponsorship will assist the Port Macquarie brigade host the event.
“What it means to us, well that’s very simple. Mateship - not only do we look forward to the championships but our families do to.
“To me the fire services around the country, in fact the world, is one big family.”
Members of the public are invited to watch the Firefighter Championships at Westport Park on August 19-20 with events kicking off at 8am each day.
There will be fire trucks and HAZMAT vehicles to inspect, fire safety information stalls and firefighters on hand to ask questions.
If you would like to make a donation to support the local championship event, contact the station.