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North Island Firefighters Compete In High Profile Firefighter-sports Event

Photo supplied by UFBA

Aotearoa New Zealand is protected by around 14,000 paid and volunteer firefighters from urban, rural, industrial, and defence force fire brigades.

Firefighters have expert, life-saving skills that they regularly train for and perfect, so that when the siren calls, they can respond confidently.

Recently, we saw the incredible and grueling work of our community heroes in the large vegetation fires this summer, and this weekend, members of the public can see a simulation of some of the physical endurance they go through.

On Friday 12 and Saturday 13, over 120 firefighters from around the North Island will compete as individuals and in teams against each other in the annual United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) North Island Firefighter Challenge held in Palmerston North, working their way towards the UFBA National Firefighter Challenge in May.

Competitors have trained all year. Some are highly experienced, and we have some fresh faces ready to take on the personal challenge of conquering the track and their own physical and mental strength.

With its well-earned reputation, the UFBA Firefighter Challenge is adapted for New Zealand from a similar event held in the United States.

Competitors race against each other and the clock wearing full PPE and BA. They start by climbing a six-story tower carrying a 19kg flaked hose, then hoist a 20kg hose coil up 6 stories, before using a 4kg shot hammer to drive a beam for 1.5 meters. Competitors then burst through saloon doors to hit a target with a charged hose, before finally dragging an 81kg mannequin fort 30.5m to the finish line.

The simulation is an exciting test of their skill and fitness, demonstrating the physical demands of real-life firefighting to the public.

Location: The Square, Palmerston North Date/Time: Friday 12 April from 1200hrs-1600hrs and Saturday 13 April from 0900hrs-1600hrs (approx. finish times)

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