Bega firefighters run hot at regional championships

FIRE and rescue officers from across NSW battled it out in front of scores of spectators at the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Firefighter Regional Championships at Unanderra over the weekend of May 3.

There were 13 teams, including one from the Rural Fire Service (RFS), who competed in 11 events over the weekend which saw the Dorrigo brigade claim the championship over the Tamworth brigade and reigning state champion Kelso.

The Bega Fire and Rescue team scored third place according to team member Gerard Hanscombe, who said they had been “in the top five or close to” in every event and the whole championships had been “terrific”.

FRNSW senior media officer Malissa Milligean said the judges were “very impressed with their form”.

The Bega team won the urban pump collector and ladder, and came third in the BA event.

Mr Hanscombe said the Bega team went to three or four such championships every year, and they had been performing very successfully recently.

They attended the Australasian Championships last November held in Launceston, Tasmania, and had come seventh out of 21 teams in total.

“It’s all relative to firefighting techniques,” Mr Hanscombe said.

“That’s why Bega Fire Brigade has a pretty good fire station.”

The Bega team is now preparing for the state championship in Kelso in October.

FRNSW acting director of championships assistant commissioner Ken Murphy said the two-day event, officially opened by FRNSW commissioner Greg Mullins, was a terrific opportunity to meet firefighters from across the state.

“Although the team numbers were below that expected, the competition, intensity and camaraderie at the championship was of the usual high standard,” Mr Murphy said.

“This was despite wild weather on Saturday night damaging two of the championship tents and forcing fire-fighters to rush out to the grounds to batten down the hatches to ensure Sunday’s events could proceed.”

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