Two teams from the Garden City made the relay final.
The St. Catharines Fire Department made history at the National FireFit Championships earlier this month in Sarnia.
For the first time in the history of the relay event, one city had two teams in the final.
“The weekend was great from an individual standpoint, we had a few set personal bests,” said St. Catharines Fire Captain and Team Leftovers member, Corey Miller, who also mentioned the Nationals featured teams from Poland and Germany as well as right across Canada.
“And on Sunday we sent two relay teams – the St. Catharines Herc’s Team, and the St. Catharines Leftovers Team – we ended up one and two in the seeds, and worked our way all the way to finals.
It was the rubber match. Leftovers won the (regional) event in St. Catharines, Herc’s won the event (regional) in Port Elgin, and Team Herc’s took the gold in Sarnia.
Standing out there with 10 guys from St. Catharines before the bell even rang, was a great show for the City of St. Catharines on the national stage.”
The relay features the same exhausting events over the grueling course as the individual race does.
Task 1: Stair Climb
The first event is the stair climb with Hi-Rise Pack. The Hi-Rise Pack is a 4-foot bundle of 4 inch hose weighing 42 pounds. This is carried on the outside shoulder when moving up the stairs and must be deposited completely in or on the box on the top floor of the tower (40 ft., 6 flights, 60 steps). Missing the box constitutes a 2-second penalty. No part may touch the deck of the tower. A 2 second penalty is assessed if any part of the Donut Roll is touching the tower platform. The hose load must stay on the platform or the competitor is disqualified. When ascending the tower handrails may be used. Steps can be taken one at a time or in multiples on the way up. When descending handrails & steps must be used. Failure to touch each step on the way down will result in a 2 second penalty per infraction.
Task 2: Hose Hoist
A 45 lb. Donut Roll of LDH hose and 5/8″ kern-mantle rope are used. Competitors 5’6″ and under are allowed to stand on the Hi Rise pack (no penalty will be given to these competitors) The Donut Roll must be hauled (usually hand over hand motion) up to the top landing of the tower, lifted and placed in the box on the top of the tower. Missing the box will result in a 2 second penalty. The Donut Roll must remain in or on the box. No part may touch the deck of the tower. A 2 second penalty is assessed if any part of the Donut Roll is touching the tower platform. The Donut Roll must stay on the platform or the competitor is disqualified. A fallen donut roll may not be retrieved.
Task 3: Forcible Entry
The Forcible entry evolution utilizes a chopping simulator. Using a 9 lb. Trusty Cook shot mallet provided. The competitor moves the beam completely past the decal. Once this task is complete the competitor must place the hammer on the designated 4′ x 4′ area. If the hammer does not stay on the 4′ x 4′ area a 2 second penalty is given.
Task 4: Run
Competitors then walk or run as fast as he/she can around the hydrants a distance of 140ft then shoulders the nozzle end of a 1.75″ fully charged BullDog hose line.
Task 5: Hose Advance
Shoulder a 1 3/4 inch fully charged BullDog hose line and drag it 75 feet. Once the nozzle crosses the 75 foot mark, the competitor opens the nozzle, hits the designated target with the stream of water, shuts the nozzle and places it on the ground. If the nozzle is not shut before it is placed down, the competitor must go back and close it. Failure to do so results in a 5 second penalty. If the target is missed a 2 second penalty is assessed. Once the hose advance is complete the competitor moves towards the final task, Victim Rescue. Note: if the nozzle opens again after it hits the ground, there is no penalty and the competitor can continue.
Task 6: Victim Rescue
A 175 mannequin must be dragged backwards a distance of 100 ft. Carrying the mannequin in your arms or over your shoulder is not permitted. The mannequin must not be grasped by its clothing or appendages. Time stops when the competitor and mannequin cross the beam at the finish line with the mannequin’s feet completely crossing the blue line.
After hosting regional events the past two years, FireFit will return to St. Catharines in 2024, with hopes of hosting the National Championships in 2025.
“We’re extremely proud,” explained Miller. The St. Catharines event we had almost 30 people from our department competing, which is nearly 20 per cent of our staff, which is incredible.
Ultimately hosting the event, and giving back to charity is the platform we use this for.”
And after years of giving back, a hearty congratulation goes out to the entire St. Catharines Fire Department for making history and putting the Garden City on the national map.
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.