The description of this event could apply just as comfortably to the Olympics, as it could to the Fire Fighter Challenge. A major international competition with competitors from all over the world. After years of dedication and training, participants battle it out against each other to determine who can legitimately claim to being ‘The Best’.
Agility, skill, speed, strength and endurance are all very handy if you want to win an Olympic gold, but these attributes are also required if you want to be crowned ‘Britain’s toughest Fire fighter.
This inaugural event took place on July 30th, on the campus grounds of the University of Nottingham. Perhaps not quite as glamorous as the Copacabana, but an appropriate backdrop nevertheless, as some of these photos attest. More than 70 competitors from across Europe, and further afield, took part in this ‘gruelling’ competition, as reported on London Fire Brigade’s own website.
Eight events tested virtually the whole gambit of a modern firefighter’s role. In full gear participants had to complete a full stair climb, haul up a 70m hose to the top, and then descend the tower with the hose. Competitors then had to use a Keiser force machine, connect a 70m hose to a portable pump and drag it 60 meters, before rolling it up and placing it in its box.
In the final two stages of the event firefighters had to shuttle run four foam containers weighing 20Kg each and drag a 70 KG Ruth Lee ‘drill dummy’ for 60 metres. None of these are easy tasks, as any firefighter would confirm, and doing all this against the clock makes it even tougher.
Firefighter fitness is of course crucial – in an emergency it could mean the difference quite literally between life and death. Competitions like the British Fire Fighter Challenge are mirrored in other parts of the world. The UAE World Firefighter Challenge took place in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, which by all counts was a great success.
In the US, the Firefighter Combat Challenge was originally set up as an annual fitness competition, tracing its roots back to 1975, and is now dubbed ‘the toughest 2 minutes in sport’ It is reportedly the only federally funded, university based occupational health physiological research study and has become an internationally touring and televised sports event.
So how did the Brits do in Nottingham? The LFB were proud to report that six times ‘London’s Fittest Firefighter’ Lee Phillips took second prize in his age group against the hot favourite from Germany, and also came second in the overall British category.
Ruth Lee is of course happy to support events like this and we look forward to seeing our manikins ‘perform’ at the highest level in other parts of the world too.