Rescue Heroes Converge on Dubai for UAE FireFit Championships

Traffic has already increased by 1,000 percent

Dubai has hosted the second UAE FireFit Championship as part of the 2011 Intersec Expo and the 2011 Dubai Shopping Festival, presided over by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Move One’s Health and Safety Manager, Peter Tatrallyay, was also present at the event and shared some of his photos with us. The three day venue opened at The Walk beachfront shopping park, and saw teams of professionals from around the world competing in a series of events testing their speed, strength, stamina and rescue skills.

The Championship slogan is ‘The Toughest Two Minutes in Sports‘, a claim that seemed to be verified by the grueling stages. The events, well attended by shoppers and fitness enthusiasts, were broken down into individual and team stages, including challenges such as sprinting with an 80 kilogram rescue dummy, hauling whole fire hoses and storming enormous replicas of imperilled buildings. The event was put together with the cooperation of the Festival organizers, 911 Fire Fighting, FireFit Canada and Dubai Civil Defence.

The 2011 Shopping Festival will continue until February 20 and will include international music events, 3D cinema, water rides, skill games, bumper cars and feature displays of everything from fitness to robot dinosaurs. The concurrent Intersec Middle East Expo is the largest trade and networking event for security and rescue industry professionals outside of Europe, this year attracting 800 exhibitors from over 50 countries.

Mohammed Al Ahmadi, founder of the FireFit Championship and General Manager of 911 Firefighting, told reporters that “The FireFit Championship is a way to recognize and honour the sheer courage and physical fitness of the region’s firefighters. These true heroes often risk their lives for the safety of our society. The FireFit Championship has been put in place in order to honour these real life heroes. We will continue to grow the event every year.”

This year the Championship aimed to educate Dubai residents and visitors about safety measures as well as to give them a better appreciation of the abilities and training of their civic rescue forces. The event also acts as a platform for professionals from around the world to share their expertise. “We have visited Civil Defence Stations in each of the seven Emirates and demonstrated as well as trained them…we brought trainers from the United States and Canada because they are the best firefighters in the world, so we are getting the experience and learning from the best experts,” said Al Ahmadi.

The Canadian teams are currently the champions, setting a world record of an average time of one minute and fifteen seconds throughout their events, whilst the best individual time for the UAE firefighters was two minutes and four seconds.

The FireFit Championship 2011 Events:

Stair Climb – Race up a 12 metre, six flight tower carrying a 20 kilo pack.

Hose Hoist – Haul a 20 kilo roll of fire-hose to the top of the tower, and dead-lift the whole weight to mount it into the box

Forcible Entry – Contestants simulate breaching a burning building by wielding a 3.6 kilo mallet to drive a solid beam across the winning line.

Run – A flat-out test of speed around hydrants placed 43 meters apart, and then around again but with a fully charged hose line!

Hose Advance – Contestants drag a fully charged hose for 23 metres to the target zone, and then take down their target with a water blast

Victim Rescue – Contestants haul a staggering 80 kilo mannequin backwards over a 30 metre course.

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