We recently moved from Melbourne to Bendigo, a regional city of about 85,000 people. One of the side effects of this change is that outside the inner Melbourne suburbs, there is a different fire service, the Country Fire Authority, which is composed mainly of volunteers. In my distant past, I used to be a member of the local fire brigade in the small town that I lived in. That was up until nearly 20 years ago, when I moved to Melbourne.
The volunteer fire brigades not only put out fires and deal with other emergencies, but many brigades also compete against each other in a competition that involves the use of firefighting equipment, particularly older forms, such as manually pulled hose reels. This becomes a challenging test of skill, strength and speed. Back in my former CFA days, I was very active in this form of competition.
Fast forward to about a month ago, I assisted a passing traveller who had car trouble. There were other people helping out, including one guy from a local fire brigade. This sparked a conversation about the fire service and I mentioned that I used to be involved in the competitive side. Not long after, he had to go somewhere else, and the conversation was forgotten. However, last night, there was a tap on the window. It was the guy from the fire brigade. He had come to ask if I was still interested in joining their team this summer. I took some contact details, and will be calling the team coach later today. Good thing I keep myself fit, I may be rusty in the skill department, but I'm physically in top shape. I workout most days, and walk or cycle everywhere.
Fingers crossed for a place on the team this summer. :)
Now, most readers probably have no idea what these competitions look like. Well, I've just uploaded some videos to YouTube. Check these out for some samples.