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FireFit Championships

by Marcus
FireFit Championships at INTERSCHUTZ 2020

At the FireFit Championships at INTERSCHUTZ 2022, firefighters will give their all as they race against the clock in full turnout kit.

Action-packed competition, a unique atmosphere and the most modern firefighting tower in Europe – that’s what fans can expect at the FireFit Championships Europe. From June 20 to 25, firefighting sports enthusiasts will sweat it out at the open European Championships at the exhibition grounds in Hanover. On 20 April 2022 from 17 o’clock the registration opens under www.firefit-europe.eu – who would like to seize a starting place, should be fast and inform already in advance and register. After registration, the event ticket for the competition can be purchased as soon as registration opens.

After last year’s premiere, the best athletes will compete again this year on the days of the fair. From Monday to Thursday, firefighters will vie in qualifying heats for places in the final days of the FireFit European Championships on Friday and Saturday.

Pure adrenaline – the spectacular competition

Immediately after the starting whistle, the exciting duel on the HAIX® Tower follows: With a hose package on their shoulders, they have to climb the steps of the twelve-meter-high tower. In full gear. Including breathing protection. Once at the top, there is no time to enjoy the view. Another fire hose has to be pulled up before the team descends to the next stations.

At the next stations, the firefighters swing the hammer at the impact machine, run through a short slalom course, pick up a filled fire hose and extinguish a target fire before simulating a personal rescue in the final sprint and rescuing an 80-kilogram doll to the finish line. The elite in firefighting competition conquer this entire course in under two minutes.

Something for every fitness level

The competitors can start individually, in tandem or in relays. The relay with three to five persons is suitable for athletically active people to start in the firefighting sport. Team spirit is required here. The breathing apparatus is worn “loosely” on the back – mask and breathing air connection are omitted. The single run is considered the supreme discipline, because it demands everything from the starters while wearing breathing apparatus. In the tandem race, it is not only a fast running time that is decisive, but above all skill in changing cylinders: halfway through the course, the breathing air cylinder is handed over to the partner as a “baton”.

The way from overseas to Europe

The FireFit Championships are based on firefighting tasks: climbing stairs, transporting hoses, opening locked doors, rescuing people and extinguishing. The competition has been held in Canada for almost 30 years. Following this example, the FireFit Championships Europe Tour provides a common competition format for firefighting sports throughout Europe.

“The FireFit Championships complement INTERSCHUTZ perfectly,” commented Martin Folkerts, Global Director INTERSCHUTZ at Deutsche Messe. “They are a mix of high-performance sport, entertainment and heart-pumping adrenalin, so we are looking forward to some truly thrilling head-to-head clashes and amazing displays of athletic prowess.”

The championships are open to anyone who feels they are fit enough to compete. The only requirement is that contestants must be professional firefighters, volunteer firefighters or members of a plant/factory fire service. They can participate in individual competitions, two-person technical relays, or relays in teams of between three and five persons. The team relay is a fast, fun way for FireFit rookies to give the sport a try. The individual competition is the toughest of them all. The entire course must be completed wearing full breathing gear, so it really pushes its contestants to the absolute limits of their strength and endurance. Hence, to be eligible for the individual competition, contPestants must have a current certificate of fitness for wearing breathing apparatus (for German participants, that’s G 26.3). It is a grueling challenge, but the best-trained and prepared professionals can reach the finish line in under 90 seconds.

The competition course will be set up on the open-air site adjacent to the eastern entrance of the Hannover Exhibition Center and will comprise five events. The first stage of the individual competition is the stair climb, in which each contestant is required to ascend a12-meter-high three-flight HAIX stair tower while carrying a high-rise hose pack weighing about 20 kilograms. Once at the top, it’s time for the hose hoist stage, in which each contestant is required to hoist an additional hose pack up from the ground on a rope.

Once the hose pack is up and correctly in place, the contestant races back to the bottom, taking care to touch each step on the way down. Next up is the “forced entry” stage, were the contestant swings a special mallet to slide a horizontal hydraulic steel beam over a prescribed distance. From there, the contestant runs a 42-meter slalom course, picks up the nozzle end of a charged hose line, drags the line a distance of 23 meters, opens the nozzle and, energy and concentration permitting, hits a target with the water jet, before shutting down the nozzle and placing it on the ground. Then it’s onwards to the final stage, the victim rescue, where the competitor must lift an 80 kg dummy and drag it backwards for a distance of 30 meters to the finish line. The clock stops as soon as the dummy’s feet cross the line. The contestant’s final time is the time on the clock plus any time penalties incurred for breaches of competition rules along the way.

For more information visit INTERSCHUTZ

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