Lift, carry, drag and sprint

Firefighters competing in FireFit must drag a 165 lb. dummy a hundred feet, one of many strenuous tasks. - tri-city newS FILE PHOTO
Firefighters competing in FireFit must drag a 165 lb. dummy a hundred feet, one of many strenuous tasks.
— image credit: tri-city newS FILE PHOTO

It starts with a six-storey stair climb in full firefighter turnout gear carrying 42 lb. of hose — whew! — and ends with the competitor pulling a 165 lb. dummy more than 100 feet.

And while racing through an agonizing obstacle course breathing only bottled air may not seem like fun, firefighters from across the country are expected to turnout tomorrow when the FireFit Challenge is held in the Coquitlam Centre mall parking lot.

The event is geared toward emergency personnel and aims to simulate real-world situations in a drill that has come to be known as the toughest two minutes in sports.

“It is hard,” said Craig Stewart, a Coquitlam firefighter and FireFit Challenge organizer. “If you can do it below two minutes, you are doing pretty well.”

After a contestant carries the hose up the stairs, he is then expected to lean over the railing and pull up another hose to the top of the tower from the ground.

He then runs back down the stairs to conduct a “forcible entry,” simulating an axe chopping motion.

In the fourth stage, the contestant runs 150 feet around a series of fire hydrants before carrying 75 feet of hose filled with water.

In the final stage, the competitor must carry the dummy — at 165 lb., the average weight of a North American male — and drag it for 100 feet, backwards.

Graham Mackenzie, a Kamloops firefighter who currently holds the FireFit world record, is expected to compete in the event this weekend. Last year, he set the record in Coquitlam, posting a time of one minute, 16.7 seconds before breaking that time in Brampton with a 1:15 finish.

Stewart said Mackenzie is hoping to beat his time again when the event gets underway on Saturday.

“This is the first FireFit event of the season so I am sure he has been training really hard for it,” Stewart said. “We are excited to see him race.”

This year’s event will be more family-oriented and Stewart said there will be more to do than just watch the competitors take the challenge.

There will be relay races, rope rescue and a Jaws of Life demonstration, where firefighters will cut a car in half. A silent auction will be held, with many prizes, including tuition to a firefighter training school, and burgers will be grilled for lunch.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Coquitlam Firefighters Charitable Society, which supports local organizations such as the Share food bank and the Burn Fund.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the northeast mall parking lot and is expected to run until 4 p.m. For more information, visit



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