Fire brigade championships kick off across region

ARARAT - Members of the Country Fire Authority have been taking part in running training and demonstrations ahead of the State Championships in March.

The Victorian Fire Brigades Victoria Fire Brigade Championships see competitors take part in 12 to 14 events.

Communications officer and coach of the Ararat Junior and Senior Fire Brigade Anthony Passalick said multiple brigades from all over the state will compete.

"Eighty brigades, including three from Western Australia will compete in Warrnambool over the long weekend," he said.

"We will be competing in four demonstrations over the next six weeks, in the lead up to the event."

At one of the demonstrations in Stawell on Sunday from 10am, brigades will travel from Horsham, Warracknabeal and as far away as Mildura.

Mr Passalick said despite training being held back by a couple of months this season the team were getting well and truly involved.

"We usually begin training in November but due to being short on runners, because people were busy we didn't begin training until the new year.

"We still have a strong group of 11 runners though now this year, up on the eight we had last year."

One of the dry events is the one man marshall where four lengths of hose is required to be moved onto a hydrant and branch.

Mr Passalick said a lot of the events originate from firefighting measures that were required between the 1850s and 1880s.

"In Ararat for example, there would be a few branches across the town in different locations," he said.

"The bell would then ring differently to direct crews to the right location, they would have to move with the hose reel.

"A lot of the activities that we take part in involving the hose were part of the firefighting crew's job back in those times."

Other events include the one man ladder race, one man hydrant race, champion fours and six person hose and reel.

The pet event involving eight people is the Y coupling and ladder eights, again heavily involving use of the hose.

Mr Passalick who also runs separate running events for six juniors said the running is a great activity to be involved in.

"There is a lot of community involvement in the training, demonstrations and competition," he said.

"Members develop a real comradery with their team and the activities are great for fitness.

"It is also good to develop a social network and catch up with members from other brigades.

"I encourage anyone interested in joining the CFA or running side of CFA to contact brigade captain Shaun Ralph or myself."

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