A chance to develop hot skills

FIREFIGHTERS are climbing giant ladders and rolling hoses but they aren’t doing it to extinguish flames.

They are competing in the CFA’s equivalent of the Olympics.

Chiltern and Baranduda brigades from district 24 and Springhurst and Greta South brigades from district 23 will compete in the state rural championships in Geelong this weekend against more than 60 brigades from across Victoria.

Chiltern brigade’s head coach and junior development co-ordinator Kurtis Hickling said the healthy competition of the event was much more than just fun.

“It helps young firefighters learn basic skills,” he said.

“It also fine tunes senior firefighters’ skills so that in real situations, people are able to hook up hoses and get to the fire quickly.”

Mr Hickling said knowing the basic skills was paramount.

“This competition gives us confidence which is important and we need to be able to back each other,” he said.

Mr Hickling was quietly confident the Chiltern brigade would win a spot on the podium.

“We’ve been training twice a week since January,” he said.

“I want to be able to say we are the best brigade in the state.

“Even though we’re volunteers, we take it very seriously.”

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