A video highlights package has been released showing all the action, heart and camaraderie from this year’s CFA/VFBV State Firefighter Championships.
For the second year in a row, the CFA/VFBV State Firefighter Championships were held on consecutive weekends in March 2022 at the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve in North East Victoria.
It was the perfect event to shake off the shackles of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions and celebrate what’s great about CFA.
It had been a long and difficult 12 months for those who look forward to competing and putting their training into action. The same can be said for CFA members who look forward to catching up with friends from other brigades, made over the years at past Championships.
Thanks to a funding boost from the Victorian Government, plus improvements made following feedback from last year’s event, the layout of competition and exhibition areas was changed to bring them closer together and encourage greater interaction.
Watch the highlights video below
The corporate marquee was busy with a lot of visitors over both weekends. As usual the merchandising stand was extremely popular, but the new workwear stand was top of the must-see list for members wanting to see, feel and test out the new clothing in person.
CFA’s virtual reality technology was also a highlight, with hundreds of visitors, many of them potential young firefighters in the making, donning the headsets to try out their skills in a variety of simulations designed to replicate real-life scenarios.
The Urban Juniors competition on the first weekend was fierce, with Melton A taking top honours for the second year in a row. They blitzed the field winning all the Under 14s’ wet events and most of the Under 17s’ events.
After a full day of Urban Juniors’ competition, a Youth Advisory Forum was held with CFA CEO Natalie MacDonald, DCO Operational Performance & Capability Kaylene Jones and DCO Operational Doctrine and Training Jean Dyzel. It was an opportunity for our young members to participate in interactive feedback sessions with senior leaders to improve the way CFA engages with and involves young people.
The Forum resulted in constructive discussions about how CFA can more actively and inclusively involve young people in decision-making. Participants also provided ideas about how to reach and more effectively communicate with Junior members.
The Chief’s Chargers took to the main track on the second weekend with DCO Kaylene Jones becoming the first woman operational leader to compete on the Chargers team. Unsurprisingly, they were beaten by the Kyneton Juniors.
It was a weekend of firsts for women at the Championships this year. Twenty women’s teams from across the state competed in female-only events, as well as taking part in open competition.
Euroa students Amelia Delahey and Teagan Kubeil won the inaugural VFBV Female Aggregate Trophy for the team with the highest overall points. Tatura finished in second place, with Pakenham/Narre Warren A third.
The Torchlight Procession also made a triumphant return with this year’s event featured in Shepparton’s Illuminate Festival. The procession route wound along Victoria Park Lake and was lined with spectators.
For the first time, CFA rural brigades joined urban brigades for the colourful event, which dates to 1873.
This year’s event was led by a colour party featuring Chief Officer Jason Heffernan, VFBV President Nev Jones and a fleet of CFA tankers and pumpers. The procession traditionally features kerosene torches on wooden poles but in a move towards environmental sustainability, this year’s event also featured a trial of LED and e-flare torches. Organisers said the feedback from brigades using the alternative options was positive and a decision about the preferred lighting approach will be made before next year’s Championships.
Brigades marched in formation and were judged at five points along the route on their presentation and appearance. The Knox Group came first, with Pakenham brigade second and Patterson River brigade third.
With another year over, the focus now turns to 2023 when CFA celebrates 150 years of Championships. It’s sure to be big and unforgettable.