Media Release, 2 August 2023; Parkes is already famous for its role in the moon landing and its annual festival honouring the King of Rock and Roll – now the local Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crew is hoping to bring home another coveted crown.
The local brigade is among those hoping to be declared ‘Best in the West’ as the Regional Firefighter Championships return to the historic Central West town this weekend.
Fifteen FRNSW teams will be out to prove their mettle across 11 skills categories when they converge on Keast Park on Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 August.
The host town will compete with fire brigades from nearby Cowra, Dubbo, Goulburn, Griffith, Trangie, Turvey Park and Wellington.
They will also be tested against other FRNSW crews from Region South, the Central Coast (Saratoga & Wyong), the Hunter Valley (Abermain & Kurri Kurri), the South Coast (Ulladulla), and western Sydney (Busby), and teams representing the NSW Rural Fire Service and Victoria’s Country Fire Authority.
Firefighters will partake in a range of diverse events including the ‘Booster Valve and High Rise Bag’; ‘Urban Pump Collector and Ladder’; the ‘Urban Disabled Pump’ challenge and ‘Hose, Hydrant and Extinguisher’ assembly.
The championships first began in 1932 in New South Wales, helping firefighters to maintain their specialist skills to protect the irreplaceable and generate friendly rivalry among fire stations and emergency services.
This will be the first time Parkes has played host to the event since 2011, which FRNSW Parkes firefighter, Simon King, said is added motivation for his team to perform well.
“It is a great opportunity for us as firefighters to hone our skills and show our community what we are capable of doing,” Mr King said.
“While there is always some friendly rivalry between teams, we will also give each other some tips and help each other out.
“The positive experiences we have during these competitions only benefit our approach when we are back at the station or at the scene of an incident.”
Firefighter King said the championships will also provide an economic boost to the town which is still feeling the impacts of recent floods.
“This event will bring more than 120 firefighters and their families to town, injecting money into small businesses and delivering a much-needed morale boost,” he said.
The public is encouraged to attend the championships on Saturday, when FRNSW, the RFS and the SES will be demonstrating their vehicles and equipment, and sharing vital safety information.
Winners of the event are expected to be declared early next week.