Bega is set to play host to the second installment of the Fire and Rescue NSW Regional Firefighter Championships of 2017 this weekend.
More than 20 crews from across NSW and an invitational crew from Echuca, Victoria, will compete in 11 events over the two-day championships at Bega’s Valley Fields.
The events include firefighting, ladder work, pumping, breathing apparatus, firefighting foam and hose target practice.
Bega Fire Station, the reigning overall state firefighting champion, will be out to back up its recent strong form.
Acting captain Gerard Hanscombe said all the events are related to water and hoses.
“It’s relative to what we do on the fire ground,” Mr Hanscombe said.
Acting deputy captain Clinton Towill said different methods replicated what firefighters experienced on the job.
“Each event is to simulate a real scenario,” Mr Towill said.
“We get water out of the hydrant, like we would in the job, into the fire truck and then back out of the fire truck to hit different targets.”
Though the events are time-based, there are plenty of penalties handed out for errors.
“We just have to do it nice and clean and fast. That’s how you win it,” Mr Hanscombe said.
Teams from as far as Armidale and Port Macquarie will descend on Bega for the championships, while at least one ladies team will also compete.
Mr Hanscombe said there would be a few teams keen to put Bega’s credentials to the test.
“We’re the current state champions and we’re out to go all right in this championship this weekend,” he said.
Bega also finished second overall at the Uralla Regional Championships in March, which was dominated by Kootingal Regional Fire Service.
While entertainment will be the main attraction his weekend, there will also be health and safety officers to talk about fire safety.
Would-be firefighters can also gain an insight to the training that is expected.
“People can come along and see one of the Bega members because we do have a couple of spots that could be coming up,” Mr Hanscombe said.
The free event starts at 8am on Saturday, before the opening ceremony at 9am, which will be attended by the newly appointed FRNSW Commissioner, Paul Baxter.
Mr Baxter is the 22nd commissioner of FRNSW and succeeds Greg Mullins, who held the role for 13 years.
He was the national commander and chief executive of the New Zealand Fire Service.
The event will run to about 4pm on Saturday and resume on Sunday at 8am before finishing at 1pm.
The mission of the Firefighter Championships is to develop, maintain and enhance the operational skills of firefighters and promote a professional image of FRNSW to the community.
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