(Montreal) The delegation of firefighters from the City of Ottawa emerged as the big winners of the regional Firefit competition, which took place this weekend in Montreal.
The Longueuil and Montreal teams took second and third place, respectively.
In the individual races, Éric Einagel and Marisa Tremblay of Ottawa came first in both the men’s and women’s events.
All those who reach the podium are qualified to participate in the national component of the competition, which will take place in September in Alberta.
The Firefit is a sports championship where Canadian firefighters must perform athletic feats as quickly as possible.
“These are tests that really come to make a representation of what we do when we go into a fire,” explained the president of the Montreal Firefighters Association, Chris Ross, in a telephone interview. Among other things, it is necessary to “climb a five-story tower with a 45-foot hose”, pass over a balcony, simulate the fact of breaking down a door, reach and knock down a target with a water jet and ” move a 175 pound dummy 100 feet”. All, “with all your firefighting gear, another 175 pounds on your back”.
For the first time this year, the Montreal firefighters organized a festive event for the population ― especially children ― on the sidelines of the competition.
Mr. Ross estimates that the weekend was a success with the general public and drew a few thousand people. “We released a total of 250 burgers and not far from 2500 hot dogs within two days,” he said.
Along with the free food, face painting booths, inflatable games, fire awareness workshops and a children’s version of the sports challenge were available at the venue. Trucks and pieces of historic equipment could also be admired.
Previously, the Firefit was mostly attended by the firefighters themselves, with no general public, Ross said. He said he received many positive comments from attendees. With the stands full, there is “a lot of encouragement from the local world, the competitors, they certainly liked it. When you have people clapping and shouting, it allows you to find the little extra moment of effort to complete it more quickly”.
If the Firefit returns to Montreal next year, the city’s firefighters plan to make this event open to the public a tradition, and perhaps even add other attractions.