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Survival of the fire fittest

Oshawa hosting World and Canadian Firefit Championships, welcoming top competitors from around the globe

Firefighters from across Canada and the world will push themselves to the limit during the annual FireFit Championships to be held in Oshawa. This is the first time the city is hosting the world championships.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Firefighters from all over the world are going to be meeting in Oshawa for the 2019 FireFit Championships.

This year, Oshawa will be the host of both the Canadian and World championships.

This will be the fourth year in a row which the city has hosted the Canadian championships.

Event organizer Matt Baca explains Oshawa is hosting the worlds this year because the city has broken attendance records over the past three years.

Firefighters will take part in three days of timed trials simulating emergency response scenes.

They will start in their gear just as they do at a fire scene, line up, pick up a 45-pound high rise bundle, sprint to the top of a six-storey structure, place it in a bin, and will then race 45 pounds of hose to the roof, before coming back down.

Baca says there will be teams from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Europe, U.S., and Canada.

There are six firefighters from Oshawa who have qualified for the event, according to Baca.

All money raised through the event will go towards the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada.

“They were basically our first sponsor… so the money raised actually goes back to help emergency responders and volunteers in the community. All the money raised in return goes back into training, public education,    safety, and equipment needed for first      responders across the board,” explains Baca.

He says it doesn’t matter if it’s police, fire services, or paramedics, they can all apply for grants to help with needed equipment or safety features.

“Oshawa Fire Services has received grants over the years for stuff like accountability tags, smoke alarms, decon bags for equipment for firefighter safety… you can go across the region and almost every fire department has benefited from that foundation,” says Baca.

Last year, FireFit raised almost $15,000, according to Baca.

This year, organizers hope to surpass that and reach $20,000.

The competition is free to the community, and begins Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m.

It runs until Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Delpark Homes Centre, 1661 Harmony Road North.