The CFA/VFBV State Firefighter Championships will return to North East Victoria over the next two weeks, with CFA volunteers from across Victoria to gather in Mooroopna.
The Mooroopna Recreation Reserve will host the events once again; with the Urban Junior State Championships starting this weekend, 18 and 19 March. Senior Urban, Senior Rural and Junior Rural events will be held at the same site the following weekend, 25 and 26 March.
Families, friends and community members are welcome to come along and watch the events unfold.
Attendees can enjoy food and drink vans, firefighting equipment display, training demonstrations, trade displays and award presentations, and much more.
CFA Deputy Chief Officer (DCO) Kaylene Jones said there has been an extraordinary amount of work to ensure the 2023 Championships could still be held in Mooroopna, with the event providing a much-needed boost to the local community following the devastating floods in October last year.
“At one point, there was more than a metre of water over the running track at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve,” she said.
“Many CFA members across the state were involved in flood response and recovery, not to mention the members who sadly lost their homes.
“The State Championships are a big part of CFA’s volunteer culture, and promotes the important values of teamwork and respect, as well as engaging our members in some friendly competition with like-minded competitors.”
Events at the State Championships are based on practical firefighting activities, with the focus on physical fitness, teamwork and equipment skills by using hoses, hydrants, and other equipment.
Gerard Williams from Euroa Fire Brigade has been involved for more than 40 years, both as a coach and competitor and said that the local competitions and State Championships are important for volunteers because of the focus on teamwork.
“They take part in both wet and dry events, which feature drills including hydrant setting, hose bowling and water spraying,” he said.
“We’ve seen some juniors over the years with low self-esteem and lacking confidence go on to become confident adults with great careers. I believe being part of a brigade team plays a big part in that.
“The physical side of competing is great, even for those who aren’t athletic by nature. It's excellent for CFA because the general public can see what we do and young people see what's going on and might be inspired to join their local brigades.”
The Mooroopna Recreation Reserve will also be open to the public on both weekends, while school groups will be visiting the site throughout the week.