Fleming College’s fire combat team earned a seventh place finish at 3M Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge in Alabama last week.
The Peterborough college’s pre-service firefighter students Declan Fitzpatrick and Bowman Allen, along with coach Brad Johnston, participated in the competition.
The competition’s activities are based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations such as tower climbing, hoisting, chopping, hose dragging and rescuing a dummy weighing 175 pounds, all while wearing firefighting gear.
“This is a tremendous feat for our fire combat team and I am extremely proud of the hard work, commitment and incredible sportsmanship each of these athletes demonstrated throughout the entire competition,” said coach Shawna Coulter, a firefighter in Whitby.
“To place seventh in a field of over 500 competitors is incredible and beats any previous record we have ever achieved.
“Our team is now considered a major contender at the international level, and we couldn’t be more proud.”
Allen and Fitzpatrick achieved qualifying times that allow them to be inducted into the Starfield Lion’s Den, an elite classification of competitors who achieve a time of less than 1:40. Fitzpatrick broke every Fleming and Canadian record in his rookie year, which included a time of 1:36 in his first race.
On Day 3, he achieved a time of 1:33 and then on the final day, a new personal best of 1:28.
Fitzpatrick also placed 24th out of 500 competitors overall. He will be returning next year as a coach, said Coulter.
“To be inducted into the Lion’s Den in their rookie year is incredible,” stated Coulter. “This is a distinction that individuals seeks for many years and only a small number ever achieve.
“We are very proud of both Allen and Fitzpatrick, as well as coach Johnston for representing themselves and Fleming College on the world stage.”
Johnston also earned the over-45 world championship title for the second year in a row. Coulter also competed in both the individual division and women’s relay.