Brigades at Nationals

Ruawai volunteer fire fighters, Renee Gatehouse and Jo Forsythe with their trophy.

Wellsford firefighters Trent Jones, Karl Davis, Tarah Whitehead, Logan Mason and Alastair McConnachie, and Ruawai firefighters Renee Gatehouse and Jo Forsythe, recently competed in the The United Fire Brigade Association’s national waterway challenge which has been a tradition since 1885.

This year the challenge was held in Kamo and it’s all about putting skills that are used during fire fighting to the test in a fun and competitive environment. The national event is run every two years.

This year marked the Wellsford team’s fourth nationals and they competed in nine events on the day. Team member and Station Officer Trent says the team were pleased with their effort. “It was good team building — we managed to get some points in an event at national level which was one of our goals.” The event was the four person team tower run, in which they placed ninth out of sixteen. 

The Ruawai women came away with the United Fire Brigade Association encouragement trophy which is awarded to new teams who have a great attitude, and as encouragement to keep competing. 

Ruawai firefighter Renee said that although the competition was tough “the camaraderie and encouragement we have received has made us keen to continue. We were trying to improve on our own runs more than anything and we surprised ourselves.”

Jo said that “the skills we obtained just from competing have made us better equipped on the fireground than we probably anticipated which is an added bonus to the event.”

The women’s coach was Ruawai Senior Station and Brigade training Officer Tim Johnson, who ”without his support and encouragement I don’t believe we would have had the opportunity to perform as well as we did,” says Jo.


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