It's a competition relay based on firefighting tasks commonly performed
SUMMERSIDE - The regional Scott Firefit Championship is coming to the city of Summerside this summer.
The event, which will be taking place July 29-31, is a competition relay based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations.
Wearing full gear, competitors climb five-storey towers, hoist weights, breach entries with sledgehammers, do the shuttle run, drag fire hoses, hit targets and rescue 175-pound "victims".
The championship features both individual and team relay events, with up to five competitors per team. The grueling two-day event requires the athletes to train hard to excel in the competition.
The championship will welcome many rookie competitors as well as seasoned veterans who have made this their sport and have been competing for decades. Over 350 participants will be competing for a spot in the national championship to be held in Calgary, Alta., later in the year.
"This is a new event for Summerside coming to the area," said Summerside Deputy Mayor Brent Gallant, "and we are pleased the firefighters have stepped up to the plate to do a lot of work."
The event begins Friday with a corporate relay night that is open to the public and any sponsors who want to try some of the firefighting competitions.
Saturday evening there's an outdoor concert with two P.E.I. bands, one from Charlottetown and one from Summerside.
The first Firefit Championship occurred in Vancouver, B.C., in 1994, involving 15 days of competition. With the success of this event, several more were scheduled from coast-to-coast in 1995, with more than 105 fire departments participating.
Summerside firefighter, Daniel Richard, chairman of the event, said he looking forward to a large turnout.
"We've been getting great support from the city, the chief Jim Peters and the departments have been behind us from the get go. I think the event's going to be great," he said at the announcement.
JP Desrosiers, Summerside's director of community services, said the city will benefit from the number of competitors and spectators this event will attract.
"Our goal, of course, is to host an early stand-up version of this event, then try and host a national event in the coming years."
An early economic impact assessment by the City of Summerside using the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance' s Economic Assessment Model estimated this event could bring an economic impact of over $200,000 to the community.