Creswick fireys impress at state championships

April 11th, 2024Creswick fireys impress at state championships

Creswick’s CFA brigade team has put in an impressive effort at the recent State Firefighter Championships, showing plenty of promise ahead for this young competitive running crew.

Creswick’s CFA brigade team has put in an impressive effort at the recent State Firefighter Championships, showing plenty of promise ahead for this young competitive running crew.

“This is their first year running together and I was very impressed,” said coach Jason Paterson, who besides coaching the brigade’s runners also serves as second lieutenant with the brigade.

Seven members with the local brigade team, plus coach and supporters, attended the state championships in Mooroopna over March 23-24, competing in the urban seniors’ division.

More than 75 CFA urban and rural brigades from across the state competed in the championships with events for different divisions spread out over the two last consecutive weekends in March.

“We came fourth in the 4-man Y event and we were pretty consistent throughout,” coach Paterson said.

“It was a great display of how we work in a team.”

Among the team members competing in the Urban Senior Firefighting Championships on Saturday March 23, Logan Hand, 18, has been an active member of the brigade for two years, following in the footsteps of his three family members who volunteer with Creswick.

“I’ve been around the brigade my whole life and I’ve been marching with them for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to get involved as soon as I could,” Logan said.

“The championships are a great opportunity to mix with different brigades. I really enjoy the camaraderie and the friends that you get to make, both in your own team and in others.”

In the lead-up to the championships, Logan said he had been most looking forward to the ladder and cart events “as they are a bit more interactive and challenging for me”.

The team had hit the ground running early in the season, having started training twice a week from October with hopes to overcome their biggest challengers Osborne Park and Melton.

It had notched up wins in the B-Section Hose & Ladder 5 & Wet Hose with removable back cap at the Western Districts Championships held at Warrnambool in February.

“We figured because we’re a new team, we should get in some good practice,” Logan said.

Charles Huang, a 22-year-old medical student, has been a brigade member with Creswick for only just over a year, but has been putting his best foot forward on the track.

“I always go into training with the mindset of wanting to better myself and to find ways to improve my technique. I really want to get stronger and faster,” Charles said prior to the championships.

“I wasn’t very good at the ladder run initially. So, in the past few weeks, I’ve become really motivated to get better at doing it.”

Speaking prior to the recent championships at Mooroopna, Charles said he had also been particularly looking forward to the cart events – “because it is such a team effort, and everyone has a role to play,” he said.

“It’s also really exhilarating to push a decently heavy cart down the track.”

As a comparatively small team, Charles said that prior to the championships the Creswick crew had identified what they most needed to work on and had been drilling that in at training.

“A few of us weren’t powerful enough yet for the cart event, so we practised that initial segment over and over again,” he said.

“What we found was with each iteration we could really refine our technique. For me, I needed to work on my hand grip on the handle and make that a smoother transition. But after several run-throughs, I was able to actually do what we wanted.”

The brigade’s runners will now take a break from their regular twice-weekly training sessions before they resume training again around June-July ahead of the next major inter-brigade comps held towards the end of the year, Jason says.

He says that getting involved in the brigade running team is a great opportunity to encourage new memberships, with those who start out as runners with the brigade, usually ending up contributing as general brigade members as well.

“We are always looking for new brigade members, particularly daytime members,” he says.

While the runners take a breather for a couple of months, general brigade training continues at the Creswick fire station on the third Tuesday of the month, and also on Sunday mornings.

Jason says that for those interested in joining up, more information is always available through the brigade’s Facebok page.

Based, just under 10 kilometres to the north west of Creswick, the Ascot and District A team, fared notably well in the Rural Juniors category at the championships as well, ending as overall winners.

Words: Eve Lamb. Image: Supplied

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