Fleming Fire Combat Team member Declan Fitzpatrick is heading to Montgomery, Alabama to compete in the World Firefighter Combat Challenge.
This intense competition demonstrates the firefighting profession’s rigors to the world. From October 21 to 26, competitors will perform physically demanding tasks that simulate the demands of firefighters in emergency situations. This includes climbing a tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses, and rescuing a dummy that weighs 175 lbs, while wearing firefighting gear.
“I joined the team because I wanted the challenge and the experience of FireFit. The career networking was a bonus,” said Declan, who took Fleming’s Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program and joined the Fleming Fire Combat Team in February, 2019. “It has been a lot of fun training and competing this year; we had an incredible group of people on the team this year, competitors and coaches.”
Declan qualified for the World Firefighter Combat Challenge last month at the FireFit Worlds & Canadian National Championships in Oshawa. He achieved an incredible 1:24 in his first year competing in FireFit, making him the fastest new competitor in Canada and earning him the 2019 FireFit National Rookie of the Year award.
“Being Rookie of the Year is very rewarding and has made all the time and commitment put in that much more worth it,” said Declan, who has maintained his routine of home workouts and weekend training with the Fleming Fire Combat Team. “In Alabama, I am hoping to achieve a time of less than 1:40, which is the cut-off to get into the ‘Lion’s Den’, a prestigious ‘club’ that is very difficult to become a part of. Even if that doesn’t happen, I will still be thrilled to have taken part in the FireFit Worlds.”
Declan enrolled in Fleming’s Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program because being a firefighter has always been his dream job.
“Being a firefighter has always appealed to me because it’s a challenging and very rewarding career that will allow me to do a lot of good for my community,” he said. “I have enjoyed my time at Fleming, both in the course and on the FireFit team. We had a great group of people in the course, as well as the instructors.”