Three firefighters from Thompson Fire & Emergency Services travelled to Calgary, Alberta on June 20 to compete in the Scott Firefit Championships for the Southern Prairie Region.
During the competition, Darrick Graff competed in the men’s open and finished the course with a time of 1:26, making him fifth overall. Keith Burak finished with a time of 2:36, and that gave him fourth overall in the over 50 category, and the final Thompson competitor Eric Olafson finished in 2:14.
Graff has been competing in these competitions for the past four years, and says the two-minute mark is a good one to hit on your first time. The current record right now is 1:15 on the Canadian course.
Firefighters gear up with their normal fire gear, as well as an air pack, and complete an obstacle course that involves job-related skills. These include carrying a 45-pound hose up six flights of stairs, hoisting another 45-pound hose up to the top of the building, and then travelling down the stairs again.
There’s then a forcible entry simulator that simulates chopping through a roof. The firefighters take a nine-pound sledgehammer, and have to move a beam. After the beam is moved the participants do a hydrant run on a 140 serpentine, and then a fully charged hose line advance for 75 feet. The course finishes with a 175-lb Rescue Randy backwards-dummy drag for 100 feet.
Burak and Olafson have both mentioned attending nationals this year, and Graff will be traveling to Alabama in October to compete in worlds.
This year Thompson firefighters had the chance to attend the championships through fundraising efforts as well as local sponsors.