Firefighters put skills to the test

Pearcedale CFA seniors team members from left, Andy Gray, Jack Harkness,Jay Downing, Mike Mitchell, Alistair Errey, Sharon Prentice, Terry Prentice, Robyn Murphy, and Lachie Gray.

By Brendan Rees

Firefighters from Pearcedale and Devon Meadows fire brigades faced a different kind of battle last weekend.
This was no fire they were fighting. Rather, a test of their skills and prowess against each other in a set of drill competitions.
The neighbouring CFA brigades competed in the annual Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria state rural championships hosted in Warrnambool on April 7-8.
This year the championships saw 60 senior teams from 29 brigades and 59 junior teams from 30 brigades compete against one another.
Pearcedale fire brigade member Robyn Murphy said unlike a real fire situation, the competition allowed for some friendlier opposition rather than mother nature.
“The event is great for fostering team spirit and working together, as well as getting to know each other,” she said.
“The skills required can help members with quick thinking on the fire ground for attaching hoses, setting up hydrants and the like.”
Devon Meadows entered one senior team, while Pearcedale entered two senior teams including their over 50’s team for the third year running as well as one junior team.
“We had the captains of both brigades competing this year,” Ms Murphy added.
The teams competed in six events with Pearcedale taking out a silver medal in an event called ‘Squirty, Squirty’ while Devon Meadows collected fourth position in the ‘Hose and Ladder’ event.
Ms Murphy said the competition develops teamwork and promotes comradeship amongst firefighters.
“There is a healthy rivalry and competition between the two brigades who often work closely together and socialise together outside of CFA, but also support each other, both on the fire ground and at the competitions.”
“We want to say a special thank you to Jay Downing from Pearcedale, who manages the juniors, as well as taking time out to train the senior teams, compete in all events and help out the Devon Meadows competition team.”
“Everyone is looking forward to next year’s competition to be held in Bendigo.”

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