The Lambton College Firefighter Combat Team arrived home victorious after four gruelling days of Firefighter Combat competition at the Canadian National Scott Firefit Championship Finals held in Edmonton, Alberta from September 5 thru 8.
As the only college team at the competition, Lambton College’s students faced off against hundreds of the best career, volunteer, and industrial firefighters in Canada.
After the first day of competition, the Lambton College team advanced, as more than 100 firefighters were eliminated after failing to qualify with the required time of 1:50.00 to continue to the final rounds on Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8.
The final tally included another World Record, two National Firefighter Rookie Awards, and seven National Scott Firefit Medals including one gold, three silver, one bronze, and two fourth place finishes.
“I think the results speak for themselves,” said Coach Ron Sparling, professor, School of Fire Sciences & Public Safety, Lambton College. “Our team was the only college team in the competition and they were victorious against teams that professionally train for these events. Their accomplishments speak volumes of the dedication and effort of our students and the training they receive at our Fire & Public Safety Centre of Excellence. They have done an excellent job representing Lambton College on the national stage.”
Thursday, September 5
Lambton College claimed victory straight out of the gate when team captain Ian Van Reenen set another World Record in the Fire College category with a rapid time of 1:17.05, which also included a two second penalty. This record-breaking time now ranks Ian in the top 15 firefighters in Firefit Canada history. (Note: Van Reenen is currently the World Rookie Firefighter Record holder in the U.S.A. and will be attending the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada in October.)
Saturday, September 7
The pouring rain and slippery conditions didn’t slow Van Reenen down. On the competition’s third day, he pulled off another amazing feat, placing fourth in Canada in the Men’s Individual with a time of 1:17.26. Van Reenen’s accomplishments were honoured at an awards banquet on Sunday evening, where he received the Scott Firefit fourth place medal for Canada. Medals are only awarded to the top five firefighters in Canada.
Not to be outdone, Tabitha Siegfried placed third in the Women’s Individual category with a personal best time of 2:32.94 taking home the bronze medal for Canada. Siegfried has also been asked to participate alongside some of the nation’s best female athletes on the Women’s Relay Team representing Canada at the World Firefighter Combat Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada this coming October. Team member Marisa Tremblay claimed the national fourth place spot, receiving the Scott Firefit fourth place medal with her time of 2:38.02.
Thomas Elliott also brought his speed to the competition, running the Men’s Individual in 1:30.13 and claiming the Male Firefighter Rookie Award for all of Canada. To top this off, Tremblay ran a 2:38.02 in the Women’s Individual category to win the Female Firefighter Rookie Award for all of Canada.
The Men’s Firefit team took a sixth place finish with their best three times of 4:16.05. The team missed the fifth spot medal by a mere 47 milliseconds, losing out to Oakville Fire Department.
Sunday, September 8
Sunday’s battle began with the Relay competitions where the Lambton College Women’s team, consisting of Siegfried, Sara Nabi and Tremblay claimed the gold medal with their time of 1:55.93 against Shell Scotford ERT Women’s Team.
In the Men’s Tandem Team Relay, Van Reenen and Elliott placed second with a time of 1:30.19 to receive the silver medal. The medal count continued to climb with the Lambton College Mixed Tandem Team of Siegfried and Peter Christian taking home the silver medal with their time 1:50.27 and the Women’s Tandem Team of Nabi and Tremblay also claiming the silver medal with their time of 2:17.26.
Meanwhile, the Men’s Relay Team battled against 40 of the top male firefighter teams in the country. The Lambton College team was able to eliminate some of the best teams in the nation, knocking out the Elite Canadian Military RAT Firefighter Team in the semi-finals, and finally taking fourth place in Canada in the Open Men’s Firefighter Relay.
Lambton College Alumni also participated in the competition including Shaun Henderson from Oakville Fire Dept., Danny Folino from Hamilton Fire Dept., Scott McIntyre from Stratford Fire Dept., Randy Hogarth from Fort McMurray, and James Moore from Suncor Fire Dept.
Lambton College also made the news in Edmonton on both the televised broadcast and in print media. TSN filmed Saturday and Sunday’s event, which will be broadcasted one month from now. TSN also did a personal interview with Van Reenen to broadcast at this time.