Gladstone Fire Station’s Tom Neville will lug a fake 80kg body when he competes at the World Fire Fighters Games.
Gladstone Fire Station’s Tom Neville will lug a fake 80kg body when he competes at the World Fire Fighters Games. Brenda Strong

Firefighters going for gold

THE Olympic Games are not the only place where Australians achieve excellence. Our emergency services do it every day.

Fighting fires is obviously a physically tough way to make a living and two of Gladstone's firefighters are heading to an event to prove that point.

Tom Neville and Chris Beasley will compete in the World Fire Fighters Games in Sydney.

The pair is training for very different events.

Mr Neville will compete in the World's Toughest Fire Fighter event.

(Yes, that really is the name of the event.)

As the name suggests, this event features the toughest firefighting duties imaginable and pushes competitors to their limits in endurance and strength.

The event features tasks ranging from carrying an 80kg dummy, to carrying and climbing ladders, dragging heavy hose lines and running up 17 floors of stairs at the Novotel Hotel.

As if that doesn't sound tough enough, competitors must wear their full equipment, which weighs 24kg.

"It's pretty hard when you are wearing the full structural gear," Mr Neville said.

"It's like working in a sauna."

Mr Beasley is competing in a more orthodox sport. He is gearing up for the 2km indoor rowing event.

"It's a form of torture," he said of rowing.

The former rugby league player said being a firefighter required a different kind of fitness.

"They give us one hour every day to work on our fitness," he said of the fire and rescue service.

Mr Beasley took up indoor rowing when a fellow firefighter recommended it as a way to keep fit.

He now swears by it as the perfect workout.

His personal best time over 2km is 6 minutes 39 seconds, but he hopes to smash that in Sydney.

 

Tough going

Tom Neville is inviting businesses to support his efforts. He is determined to do Gladstone proud in the World's Toughest Fire Fighter event.

Our firefighters work flat out keeping the Gladstone region safe and here is your chance to give something back.

Mr Neville is looking for businesses to help cover his flight and accommodation costs for the event in Sydney.

Any donations he raises over that amount, Mr Neville will pass on to the Burns Unit.

Anyone interested in assisting Mr Neville in his quest for excellence can phone 4979 6589.

The World Fire Fighters Games

  • The games will be in Sydney, October 19-28.
  • More than 10,000 people will attend.
  • There are 71 different events, including conventional sports like athletics and swimming and events based on firefighting.

Toughest firefighter

  • This event includes, hose lines, sledge hammers, 80kg dummies and other firefighting challenges.


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