Martensville to host FireFit Canada competition

Martensville firefighters demonstrate their skills at a Fire Prevention Week open house at the fire hall in October, 2017. The Martensville Fire Department is hosting a FireFit Canada competition June 2 and 3,, 2018 in conjunction with the annual Buster Days celebration

The Martensville Fire Department is gearing up to host FireFit Canada, a national firefighters’ skills competition, during Martensville’s annual Buster Days celebration June 2 and 3.
“They call it the toughest two minutes of any sport,” said Martensville Fire Chief Kurtis Dyck in a recent interview. “It’s a Canada-wide competition that showcases firefighters’ skills and fitness.
“We’re pretty excited because this is the first time in several years the event is being held in Saskatchewan.”
Martensville is one of 13 communities across Canada hosting a FireFit Canada competition. The regional weekend events begin in mid-May and conclude in mid-September, with a Canadian and world championship event later in the year.
The competition began in 1994 at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, and has grown every year to include fire departments from across Canada, as well as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and many countries in Europe.
Teams made up of three to five firefighters compete in relay events involving seven tasks while wearing full firefighters turnout gear including self-contained breathing apparatus. The competitions are based on essential firefighting skills.
The tasks include a stair climb while carrying a 42-pound fire hose and flashlight; a hose hoist; tower descent; forcible entry; a 140-foot sprint; hose advance; and victim rescue (which involves dragging a 165-pound mannequin backwards a distance of 100 feet).
The competition is open to medically-fit, active structural firefighters 19 years of age and older.
Dyck said the Martensville Fire Department applied to host one of the weekend competitions, and received confirmation in December from the national organizers.
“It fits in really well with our Buster Days event,” said Dyck. “They like to have it in conjunction with a community celebration, and it becomes a major attraction that pulls in people from across the province.”
Dyck said the fire department will be “pounding the pavement” in the coming months as it drums up corporate sponsors to help offset the cost of the event. But, he adds, it’s well worth the effort.
“It’s actually quite expensive to bring it here,” he said. “But it will be a big draw and I’m expecting large crowds.”