Local firefighter shows well at national FireFit competition - Sept. 21, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
Brussels Firefighter Chris Gibson is now back home after a decent showing at the Canadian FireFit national championship in Ottawa earlier this month.
The FireFit competition is an event that involves firefighters and other emergency service individuals donning their full bunker (or firefighting) gear and taking on a six-stage course.
During the national competition, held Sept. 6-10 at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, Gibson came up short of his personal best time, which he set last month at the provincial competition in Oshawa. He posted times of 1:54.23 on Wednesday, 1:48.16 on Thursday and 1.45.35 on Friday in Ottawa. His Friday time, however included four seconds of penalties on the run.
He finished 16th out of 45 volunteer firefighters from across the country and 104th out of 160 men under 40 years old.
Both Gibson and Huron East firefighter James Yates of the Grey hall earned berths at the national competition by competing at the provincial FireFit event in Oshawa last month. Yates, however didn’t make the trip to Ottawa.
In Oshawa, Gibson ran a new personal best of 1:42.89 in the event while Yates posted a time of 2:53.09.
Gibson, in an e-mail to The Citizen, said that training is already underway for next year’s competition. He also said he is hoping to add more members to the team to promote a healthy lifestyle.
The FireFit competition includes a six-flight, 60-step, 40-foot-high stair climb with a 42-pound bundle of hoses called the High Rise Pak. The pak is carried on the firefighter’s shoulder and adds to the weight of the already-heavy bunker gear. After reaching the top, the second event is the Hose Hoist where a roll of hose weighing 45 pounds is pulled up to the top of the structure.
Following that, competitors must descend the stairs, making sure to use handrails and touch all steps on the way down. The third event is called “Forcible Entry” and includes a chopping simulator. Using a nine-pound mallet, competitors have to move a beam a certain distance. A zig-zag run follows, at which point a fully-charged hose has to be dragged 75 feet then discharged in an attempt to hit a target.
Finally, a simulated victim rescue is the last event in which the firefighter needs to drag a 165-pound mannequin backwards for a distance of 100 feet.
For more information, visit www.firefit.com or check out the Huron East Combat Team on Facebook for videos of Gibson and Yates competing.