Winning a blast at ‘firefighter games’

Front from left, Silverdale’s Tyler McEnaney, Adrian Rice and Louis Tailby, with Warkworth’s Nick Mclean (back).

Three Silverdale firefighters teamed up with Warkworth Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief Nick McLean, taking out the national title at the United Fire Brigades Waterway Challenge.

The competition, held last month in Wainuiomata, near Lower Hutt, is known colloquially as ‘the firefighter games’. It consists of nine events in which firefighters work in teams to deploy hoses, attach to hydrants and operate pumps as quickly as possible without incurring penalties.

Firefighters relish the challenge, which helps hone core skills in a competitive environment.

The team trained two to three days a week leading up to the competition, in addition to their voluntary brigade duties. They were coached by Tyler’s dad and Nick’s mum.

Adrian says lifting the trophy was a very proud moment for Silverdale, as it’s only the second time that a team from the brigade has won.

Adrian has been part of the challenge for 26 years and captained the team that won it for Silverdale in 2015.

“Many teams compete for years and cannot achieve this title so it’s a big deal and we are still coming down to reality,” he says. “We had a big grin on our faces.”

The Waterway Challenge has been held since 1885 but the national title can only be contested once every two years.

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