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Aug 28, 2009

Annual Fire Olympiad on Yabra Green

Story PictureFor the past fifteen years, firefighters from around the country have been competing for the top spot in their field. The friendly competition is known as the National Fire Service Olympiad and this year sixty are battling to become the number one firefighter. Jose Sanchez headed to Yarborough today and has this report.

Jose Sanchez Reporting
Sixty firefighters from around the country are converging on the Yarborough field to compete in the fifteenth annual Fire Service Olympiad. Michael Middleton, the Olympiad’s coordinator, says it brings goodwill amongst workers in a challenging career.

Michael Middleton, Fire Service Olympiad Coordinator
“The Olympiad is where firefighters from throughout the country, would come together and we display our firefighting skills in a competitive manner.”

Jose Sanchez
“What sort of drills are they actually going to do over the next two days?”

Michael Middleton
“We gonna have hose drills, we’re gonna have rescue drills, we’re gonna have a 5K run, we have branch relays amongst other drills.”

Jose Sanchez
“What is the purpose it?”

Michael Middleton
“The main purpose of the Olympiad is because of the fact that we are separate—some Corozal, Orange Walk, P.G.—we come together, we compete, we get to know each other better and at the same time, we have fun.”

Ten firefighting teams of six members from each district are participating in the two day the Olympiad. For the firefighters from Punta Gorda, it is an honor to be a part of the event.

Kenyatta Garnett, Punta Gorda Firefighter
“It’s an honor to come here. Every year we have this Olympiad and the guys mostly look forward for it. So, when we come here, we just compete and do our best and to represent P.G. also is an honor as to be representing a whole town. And the people are depending on us so we are going to try our best out here and see what happens at the end of the day.”

Jose Sanchez
“This is the only opportunity you get to share with the other districts?”

Kenyatta Garnett
“Yes, most naturally. Every year, this is the only opportunity we get actually for the guys to come out to meet new guys as well to from different districts and get fi know each other in case one of deh come inna the district and have wah li emergency then everybody just know one another already.”

Jose Sanchez
“So it is very important.”

Kenyatta Garnett
“Yes man, it’s very important to do something that takes place every year. So, everybody could come, we like a family anyway. So we come here, enjoy wiself and have fun noh.”

Benque Firefighter, Ian Rosas, is happy he made the trek to Belize.

Ian Rosas, Benque Firefighter
“I just finish a drill and I thought I could do it in a faster time, but it was really challenging. It has been like I’ve been on a drill for the past five minutes and I still can’t catch my breath. It’s really tiring.”

Jose Sanchez
“Is it only just competing or do you use the opportunity to share experiences with firefighters from the other parts of the country.”

Ian Rosas
“It’s both—I can say half-half—because we compete with other stations and we actually get to meet lots of colleagues from other stations, so I would say both. Well in this competition, we actually come here and show our skills. We have actually been preparing for this event for quite some time right now and this is the only way we could compete with our colleagues from other municipalities and we can share and actually enjoy ourselves even though the sun is very hot.”

Fun, games and camaraderie are shared at the event which is open to the public. But it is not child’s play because these individuals put their life on the line whenever you hear the sound of a fire engine or see a raging fire. Jose Sanchez Reporting for News Five.

The winners will get trophies and bragging rights for being the most efficient team. Last year Belize City won.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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