Bowman Allen takes on World Firefighter Combat Challenge

Bowman Allen isn’t afraid of a challenge.

“Hard work is a choice and I’m not one to shy away from it, so I will be doing all I can for my future,” said Bowman, Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training.

The Fleming Fire Combat Team member is flying to Montgomery, Alabama for the World Firefighter Combat Challenge. From October 21 – 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.

“I’m looking for an experience I won’t easily forget,” said Bowman about the competition. “I’m hoping to qualify for the final day, and am excited to experience the American course, talk to the different firefighters and departments from around the world, and hope to see some familiar faces from the past season.”

Bowman has been training regularly since Nationals, with a focus on leg strength and endurance to conquer the tower portion of the race faster, and is prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and recovery.

He joined the Fleming Fire Combat Team in February, wanting to try a new sport, compete, and network with firefighters from across Canada.

“Being on the team has been a great experience, getting to know each member of the team and the coaching staff,” he said. “The season would not have been as incredible had it not been for my teammates and the experiences we all were able to share.”

He also enjoyed his experience in the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program, which is taught at the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy (EOETA) in Norwood, Ont. The EOETA applied learning environment features a burn tower, roof props, door props, search and rescue maze, confined space prop and new high intensity propane training props.

“The fire grounds and equipment we have access to is awesome and the environment we have because of the facility makes it all that more real,” he said.

Bowman chose this program because he wanted a rewarding career where he could make a difference.

“I feel being able to serve my community, help others, and have a positive impact on life and safety as a firefighter is the most rewarding career I could ever have,” Bowman explains. “Being a real-life superhero for my children is also pretty amazing.”

Bowman is currently serving as a firefighter in Cavan Monaghan and hopes to convince more department members to get involved in the Firefighter Combat Challenge one day.

Fleming Fire Combat Team’s Declan Fitzpatrick set to compete in World Firefighter Combat Challenge

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.”