London Fire Brigade

Brigade staff shine at British Firefighter Challenge

11 August 2016

Four of our firefighters recently competed in the inaugural British Firefighter Challenge in Nottingham in a bid to be crowned 'fittest firefighter'.

More than 70 competitors from across Europe, and even Kuwait, took part in the gruelling competition which is designed to put stamina, speed, technique and strength to the test.

Eight gruelling challenges

Wearing full firefighter gear, entrants were required to take part in eight separate challenges.

As part of the competition, firefighters must complete a stair climb, haul up a 70m hose to the top of a tower and then descend the tower with the hose.

Competitors then had to use a keiser force machine, connect a 70m hose to a portable pump and drag it 60 metres, before rolling up the hose and placing it in its box.

In the final two stages of the competition, firefighters had to shuttle run four foam containers weighing 20kg each and drag a 70kg dummy for 60 metres.

How our firefighters got on

Olly Mayo, firefighter at Walthamstow Fire Station, was first to fly the flag for the Brigade, putting in a sterling effort to beat his opponent.

Firefighter Tim Bishop, from Heston fire station, finished admirably, despite being pipped to the post by his opponent.

Laura Noble, firefighter at Ealing fire station, followed soon after and took an early lead on her Nottingham opponent, who had had the advantage of being able to train on the actual circuit before the event. 

She said: "I was careful to pace myself as it is easy to get carried away when the adrenaline takes over.

"But lack of technique on the Keiser machine meant that my lead slipped and my opponent edged ahead going into the hose running.

"By the time I reached the dummy drag, she was still ahead slightly so I was hoping to bridge the gap.

"I lost my grip on the dummy and this slowed me down mentally and physically, however I made it to the finish line, coming third in the female category, and second in Britain overall."

Six times London Fittest firefighter Lee Phillips, watch manager at Clapham fire station, was the last to run for the Brigade and was pitted against the hot favourite from Germany.

He came just 14 seconds behind the German competitor and took second prize in his age group and second place for the overall British category.