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Firefighting brawn to be showcased in the Point

Published on

Cathy Dobson

Local firefighters will compete on their home turf this summer in one of Canada’s most intense physical contests. They’ll vie with other firefighters from across the continent in the Scott FireFit Championships, a test of brute strength and endurance.

Spectators will be able to watch local firefighters climbing, hammering, spraying and dragging hose against the best of the best at Point Edward’s waterfront park July 18 and 19.

The FireFit Challenge is held the same weekend as the historic Mackinac Race, marking a big attraction for area residents and visitors, says Vicky Praill from Tourism Sarnia-Lambton. She worked with Point Edward volunteer firefighter Gord Yates, Lambton College, the Point Edward Optimists and village officials to bring the event to Point Edward.

The fact that FireFit coincides with the Optimist’s annual Bridge Bash during Mackinac weekend is a win-win for all involved, said Point Edward Mayor Larry MacKenzie.

“This FireFit Challenge, coupled with the Bridge Bash will help to support our small businesses and is an excellent opportunity to show people what Point Edward has to offer,” he said.

“The Point Edward Optimist Club works hard to support our community and the FireFit Challenge will attract more people into our Village in order to support the Optimists.”

The Scott FireFit Championship is a competition based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations.

Sarnia’s own Ian Van Reenen holds the Canadian title, as well as the world title in the men’s tandem competition.

As a Lambton College alumnist, Van Reenen is a coach for the college’s FireFit team and a volunteer with the Point Edward Fire & Rescue service.

As well as coaching, he’ll be competing in FireFit this year.

“He has done an excellent job representing the Point Edward fire department and Lambton College on the national and world stage,” said Sue Patrick, a fellow Lambton College FireFit coach. “And we are very proud of his achievements as a competitor and as the coach of our own FireFit team.”

The weekend promises to be packed with entertainment under the Blue Water Bridges, with the Mackinac Race & Rotary Club of Sarnia’s Mackinac breakfast in the early morning, followed by the FireFit Challenge and the Point Edward Bridge Bash.

Over the next few weeks, the host committee will be looking for volunteers and sponsors to help with the event. Any one interested in being part of the first FireFit Challenge in Lambton County, should contact Vicky Praill at Tourism Sarnia Lambton (519) 336-3232 or 1-800-265-0316 or e-mail Vicky at [email protected]

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