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Fleming College Fire Combat Team wins gold at FireFit Championships


Fleming College’s Fire Combat Team won gold for the second year in a row at the National FireFit Championships, held Sept. 6-10 in Ottawa.

The team consists of 10 male and female Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training students along with faculty coach Shawna Coulter.

Fleming won for Top School overall and also won a silver in the Relay event. The Relay members include Eric Fergonas, Danny Grant, Nathan Vanderpoel, and Lucas Manders.

Six of the students on the team achieved a spot in the finals within the Individual Division (five males, one female) and two of the men achieved incredibly fast times of 1:30 (Danny Grant) and 1:29 (Eric Fergonas).

“This places them on par with the elite level and seasoned competitors who have been competing for many years,” said Shawna Coulter, Coach of Fleming’s Fire Combat Team.

Fleming’s women’s relay team placed fifth overall. Another two of Fleming’s competitors secured a spot in the relay finals due to fast qualifying times. These were Eric Fergonas and Katie Donohoe (Co-ed Division) and Lucas Manders and Taylor Dallas (Open Men’s).

“We are extremely proud of the students and the hard work they did representing Fleming College. They were truly a class act and showed their heart during the competitions,” said James Cowan, Coordinator of Fleming College’s Pre-Service Firefighting Education and Training program. He attended the competition this weekend to support the team and help represent Fleming.

“Participation in this sport not only fosters a solid commitment to a very high level of firefighter fitness but also encourages our team members to approach any challenge with a newfound belief in their own capabilities,” says Coulter.  “Training and competing at this level requires as much mental strength as it does physical, directly influencing career readiness and success rates of our past members in securing and excelling in firefighter careers.”

FireFit has been dubbed “the toughest two minutes in sport” and puts firefighting skills to the ultimate test. Firefighters and pre-service firefighter students compete against the fastest, strongest and most physically fit of Canadian and international fire departments as they push past physical limits by demonstrating firefighting skills against the clock.

The FireFit Championships is a competition based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations. A course comprised of six gruelling physical tasks tests the strength, endurance and overall fitness levels of firefighters. Competition categories are available for men and women, offering both individual and team relay competitions.

Fleming College’s Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program
Fleming’s Pre-service Firefighter program offers two intakes each year, in September and January. Students train at the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy, a real-world, live fire environment that features a burn tower, roof and door props, search and rescue maze, confined space prop, and high intensity propane training tools. Students can further gain valuable work experience while in the program by taking advantage of a unique opportunity to work as a volunteer firefighter for the North Kawartha Emergency Services or the Otonabee-South Monaghan Fire Service. No other college program in Ontario offers this opportunity to students. Faculty members are well-connected professionals from a variety of fire services who bring both their firefighting expertise and life experience to the program.

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 74,000 alumni.


Members of the media, for more information please contact:

Shawna Coulter
Faculty Member and Fleming Fire Combat Team Coach

Laura Copeland
Communications Officer
705.749.5530 x 1370