Moncton Firefighter Mike Nicholson, a sub with Enfield Fire, face says it all as he puts all his muscle into cutting the car during the rapid pit at the North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge. (Healey photo)

ENFIELD: Burlington Fire continued their hot trend at vehicle extrication, coming out on top as the best in North America on Sept. 16.

The Ontario city’s fire department’s hard work and extra training on top of their shift work paid off as they left Enfield with the overall top prize after the four day North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge, which featured 11 teams from New York, Ontario, and the Maritimes. It was hosted by Enfield Volunteer Fire.

PHOTOS: Skill on display at Challenge

VIDEO: Hagerman works fast

VIDEO: Enfield works to rescue the patient in the Rapid Pit

VIDEO: Brooklyn Fire gets the patient out

“Our guys put in a lot of hard work on extrication,” said Captain Ryan Stewart. “We volunteer 10 hours a week on top of our regular shifts between fundraisers and practices.

“We just came together at the right time and the results speak for themselves.”

Burlington Fire with one of their NAVRC awards. (Healey photo)

While Burlington may have been the winner in seven of the eight award categories, as Captain Stewart said in an interview all the firefighters who were participating were the real winners.

“This was a great challenge that Enfield put on for us,” he said. “These competitions help all of us learn and take that learning back home with us.”

That sentiment was echoed several times by chairman Cecil Dixon and TERC Canada Judge Fred Stephenson.

“No matter who gets an award, everyone of you here are winners,” said Stephenson.

“Everyone of you who competed here are winners because you learned new things from each other and will take that knowledge back to your respective departments,” added Dixon. “That is one of the main goals of competitions like these.”

Brett Tetanish, the Incident Commander with the Brooklyn Fire extrication team, talks with a team member about what he wants her to do next in the scenario. (Healey photo)

One thing that helps Burlington team out is that they get three new members a year as they can only be on it for two years, then new bodies come in. They are now heading to a competition to Florida.

The final results for limited pit (where tool usage is limited) were: Burlington; Hagerman, N.Y.; then Enfield. In unlimited, it was Montauk, N.Y.; Mississauga, Ont.; and Burlington.

In rapid, where teams have 10 minutes and the patient starts out as conscious at first and then they go unconscious so they need access to the patient asap), the final order was Burlington; Montauk, N.Y.; and then Mississauga.

Overall, Burlington took top honours ahead of Montauk, N.Y., and Mississauga.

Burlington also won Top Incident Commander; Top Medic; and tied for Top safety with Mississauga.

Enfield Fire president Paddy McNamara speaks during the awards banquet. (Healey photo)

Enfield Fire—comprised of James Reid of Nine Mile River Fire; Shawn Hicks; Luke Guthro; John Allan Canning; Dave Dixon; and Jeff Goodwin—came home with two pieces of hardware—third place in limited and, in the regional competition held between the Atlantic teams in the event, second place.

Brooklyn fire was third, while Halifax Fire was the winner in the regional side.

As for how the week went, Dixon said the crowds were a pleasing sight to see.

“It was a great to see so many people come out to take the event in,” he said. “We have to thank all the sponsors, like Kenny U-Pull and Leno, and volunteers. Without them, the week wouldn’t have been possible.”

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Patrick Healey
Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!