Creston Irons place first in second annual Firefighter Games

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The second time was the charm for the Creston Fire Rescue team, the Creston Irons, which placed first in the Firefighter Games hosted by the Robson Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday and Sunday.

Competing against 14 teams — mostly from the Kootenays, with one from as far away as Sechelt — the placement was a considerable jump from Creston’s 2014 fifth-place finish, a position last year’s first-place winner, Nelson Fire Rescue, took this year.

“We got points on every event,” said Capt. Randall Fabbro. “We were able to gain some ground with getting points in places we didn’t last year.”

“It was surreal,” said firefighter Joey Fellegi-Biro. “They took all the placards off the scoreboard and then placed each team from fifteenth up to first.”

The organizers held back and created some suspense before finally adding the first- and second-place winners’ placards to the board.

“We all just lost it,” said Fellegi-Biro. “It was so great.”

Fabbro, Fellegi-Biro, Cory Fleck and Laura Carman competed for Creston, with Carman joining the team after cheering on her fellow firefighters at last year’s event.

The Firefighter Games, a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, includes eight events, with an axe throw, chin-up square-off, pike pole javelin, hose roll relay, sledgehammer slam, window rescue (in which the Irons placed first in both heats) and hoisting challenge leading up to finale, Mayday Mayday Mayhem. It’s an obstacle course featuring a slip and slide, a water jet-filled tunnel and a “home” firefighters must extract a victim from, breaking through a door along the way.

The Irons went into the final with 87 points and earned 50 for the best time, 1:15, four seconds faster than Robson.

This year, Creston had a better showing than last year in a few events, notably the axe throw and pike pole javelin, in which they earned no points last year. But their improvement had nothing to do with practice.

“We thought we’d get together and do a couple things,” said Fabbro. “But really, it’s all for fun anyway, so why train and go out there at 110 per cent? We work together as a team and come through.”

He and the team appreciate the support from the community, as well as the hard work the Robson crew puts into hosting and planning in the event.

“It’s fun from the day you get there to the time you leave,” said Fabbro. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where you place because it’s all to raise money for muscular dystrophy. Coming out in the top spot is just a bonus.”

And he plans to take his team back for more next year.

“I plan on having a team to represent Creston every year, if not two, if we can,” he said.