While the rate of structure fires in communities across Canada, and here on our home Hornby Island is thankfully infrequent; the physical demands and challenges presented to firefighters, is taxing to say the least.
While we train as a group on a regular basis, there is a breed of firefighter that thrives on going the extra mile and training to a level above and beyond that of the norm. Enter the Firefit games.
Started in 1994 at the PNE, the Firefit games are hailed as the toughest two minutes in sports. Having seen it live, the author must agree. A friendly and exciting challenge for firefighters from across the country, the event mimics exercises that might be encountered in a live fire situation in a firefighter’s home town. Climbing six stories with a 40-pound hose pack, pulling a hose donut up those six stories by rope, forcible entry with a 500-pound dead weight needing to be moved, pulling and using hoses full of water, all topped off with the rescue of a 175 pound victim. Only the fittest will finish, let alone with a noteworthy time.
And yet here on Hornby we have two firefighters who rose to the challenge and did just that. On May 11 in Courtenay the regional Firefit competition took place with firefighters from across BC and Alberta. And Hornby’s very own Jasper Savoie and Doug Chinnery did HIFR and its community proud. Weeks of in-house training with improvised tools, and the dedication to spending the extra time needed to face off the best from around the west led to times that topped some of the finest firefighters that other departments put forward. With times of 2:03 and 2:57, Jasper and Doug showed that HIFR has some of the most elite firefighters around.
The department is proud of our members as a whole, but these two went the extra mile and we couldn’t be any happier that they showed the broader firefighting community what our little volunteer department has on offer.
If you see Jasper or Doug in your daily travels, congratulate them for their dedication to training and the department.