Three Pictou County fire fighters are about to compete in what is often called the toughest two minutes in sports.
Stellarton fire fighter Lt. Nathan Smith along with Westville fire fighters Lt. Shaun MacLaughlin and Training Officer Bill Chace will be competing in the Scott Firefit Challenge hosted by Cobequid Fire 2019, on Saturday in Turo.
A regional competition for fire fighters, Firefit begins with fire fighters dressed in full protective residential fire fighting gear, which weighs approximately 50 pounds. Competitors place a 42lb high-rise pack of hose on their shoulder. They then carefully and as expediently as possible move up 60 steps. At the top of the tower, the high-rise pack goes in a designated spot. The fire fighter hoists up a 42 lb hose roll in addition to seven pounds of rope. Once it is at the top, the firefighter places it with the larger hose pack and makes their way back down the 60 steps ensuring they hit each step or risk time penalties.
Upon hitting the ground, the next task is the for able entry sled. The competitor uses a seven pound sledge hammer to move a weight about 12”. They then transition to a run in an obstacle course after which they pick up a 100′ 1 ¾” hose line moving fast enough to avoid the extra weight friction might cause. They position themselves at the end of the segment to hit a target with water from the charged line. Finally they pick up a 175-pound rescue dummy and drag it backwards 100 feet. All of this is done with the goal of being finished all of the tasks in about 120 seconds.
When asked why they were challenging the event, the three local firefighters all gave similar reasons for testing their personal and firefighting limits:
“It was something I grew up watching on TV,” Maclauchlin said. “I always wanted to and this is the closest it has ever been to home. At first I was reluctant to go for it but my co-worker and fellow firefighter (MacLauchlin and Smith both also work as EHS paramedics) convinced me to go for it.”
When asked what his personal goal was Chace said, “My goal in running the event is to see for myself just how hard it is to compete and to see if I might want to run again next year.”
They will burn 100 to 250 calories during the run (540 to 800 cal. burn on average fighting a fire). The tasks in the challenge closely mimic fire fighting tasks and push cardiac fitness levels. The three said they have each been training hard for the event.
The event is being hosted by Cobequid Fire in Colchester Co. and will take place at the Truro Mall Parking Lot with opening ceremonies a 9:45 a.m. Individual races will run most of the day Saturday and team event on Sunday. The event is free for spectators.
Three Pictou County fire fighters are about to compete in what is often called the toughest two minutes in sports. Westville Fire Rescue’s Lt. Shaun MacLaughlin, Stellarton fire fighter Lt. Nathan Smith and Westville Fire Rescue Training Officer Bill Chace will be competing in the Scott Firefit Challenge hosted by Cobequid Fire at the Truro Mall on Saturday. (Cameron photo)