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NZ Firefighters Compete In High Profile Firefighter-sports Event In Wellington

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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 confidently respond.

Recently, we have seen the incredible and gruelling 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 3 and Saturday 4, over 160 firefighters from across the motu will compete as individuals and in teams against each other in the annual United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) National Firefighter Challenge on Wellington’s waterfront.

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 gaining their own physical and mental strength.

With a 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 firefighting gear, including breathing apparatus. 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 1.5 meters. Competitors then burst through saloon doors to hit a target with a charged hose, before finally dragging an 81kg mannequin 30.5m to the finish line.

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

Location: Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront Date/Time: Friday 3 and Saturday 4 May from 0930hrs-1600hrs (approx. finish time)

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