Story and Photos by Sylvia Labelle (ISN)
September 8, 2013, Edmonton, AB – The 2013 Scott Canadian National Fire Fit Championships were held in Edmonton this weekend and brought firefighters from all across Canada together to compete for the bragging rights of being Canada’s toughest firefighter.
There were also competitors from Australia and Germany competing for this right as well. This competition has been called the “toughest 2 minutes in sport” and is also the standard requirement in many fire departments for admittance to the department. Men and women both compete and the weights are not changed for the women.
There are different categories which are individual, NxG2 which is 2 person team which can be both men, both women or mixed or as a three to five person relay and there are also age categories.
In the first stage the firefighter climbs 6 flights of stairs carrying a High Rise Pak (a four foot bundle of hose weighing 42 pounds) depositing it or on a box at the top then they must hoist a 45 pound donut roll (hose) hand over hand and place in a box when they bring it to the top. Then they run down the stair and must touch each step on the way down.
At the bottom they continue on to the forcible entry stage. In this part of the competition they use a provided 8 pound mallet and move the beam past a specified mark.
When they have past the mark they run a slalom course of hydrants to the other end of the course and pick up a fire hose and drag it back 75 feet and blast a target with water. By the time the reach the target the hose now has approximately 300 pound of drag to it.
Once they have hit the target and turned the hose off, they then pick up Rescue Randy (165 pound dummy) and drag him backwards for 100 feet. Rescue Randy weighs more than most of the female firefighters in the competition. The firefighter with the quickest time without any penalties is the winner.
In the NxG2 competition there is an added component. The team member climbing the stairs but don an air pack and put it on to specifications, when they finish the forcible entry their partner takes the air pack off hands it back to them so that they can place it on the team members back before they can run the course and complete the competition.
Jalene Cartwright is a novice competitor originally from Victoria but now working in and competing with the Fort MacMurray team. This is her first year competing and says she has placed some very lofty goals on herself and has surpassed them all picking up a few shiny trinkets along the way.
Jalene Cartwright, novice participant in the 2013 FireFit Games in Edmonton
She started training in April and had her first competition in June. She normally trains every 2nd day and told me that the training becomes addictive. She competes individually as well as in the NX2 and is already looking forward to competing next year with even higher goals.
Remi Fisher is a 4 year old future firefighter that was out enjoying the competition.