A GRAND SUCCESS STORY : KOREAN World Firefighters Games

17The 2018 Sept. 10-17 games known as the "Mini-Olympics for firefighters" expected to bring together about 6,000 +  full-time volunteers, industrial, military fire service personnel and their families from 64 countries worldwide and became the largest-ever World Firefighter Games.

The 13th edition of the World Fire Fighter Games had a grand opening ceremony on Sept. 9th at the Sports Complex in Chungju, a city 150 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Venues for the games are located in Chungju and six neighboring towns – Cheongju, Eumseong, Goesan, Danyang, Jecheon and Jincheon.

The Credit for Indian Contingent that participated in The 13th edition of the World Fire Fighter Games clearly goes to Mr. P K Rao & Mr. Subhash Kumar – President & Secretary of Indian Fire Games Association respectively. Hats off to their selfless commitment & dedicated encouragement for Motivating entire Indian Fire Fraternity. Because of that 73 Fire Fighter of various fire services from India were able to participate as Team India and won 50 Medals.

Our Group Editor Mr. N K Gupta  “Fire & Safety” Magazines was also present in Chungju for more than 6 days to witness the Glory of Heavenly – well organized Un-Matched World Class Event. Mr. G S Bawa, Mr. Swastik Jadeja & Mr. Sazid Khan were always been healthy support for entire Indian contingent. Due to them we were updated regularly in India through their Posts on social media about the status of Indian Contingent's win n medals tally.

The competition which involved 75 individuals and team sporting events, which included rugby, shooting, running, track & field, Tennis, Badminton and swimming. Some leisure events were also held for firefighter's family members like Treasure hunt etc. The Firefighting mega event included games like rescuing drowning people, fire truck driving and Toughest Firefighter Alive competition that puts the contestants through a four-stage tough individual challenges, including hurdles and various task and climbing stairs. Other events that are specific to the firefighters' games are a muster event, in which participants attired in clothes of their own countries put on splendid performance.

Thousands of firefighters and their families came to the central South Korean city of Chungju to be a part of the 2018 World Firefighters Games (WFG), a major international sporting event for firefighters. During the games, the organizers also held an exhibition related to the firefighting industries based on a 19,800-square-meter plaza at the complex, compiling with academic events — international symposiums on firefighting policies and an international conference on examination of fire causes. A demonstration on how to search disaster scenes with drones was given at the complex. Visitors had an opportunity to see search and rescue dogs jump over hurdles and learn about how they are trained to track and find trapped people.

At the main stadium, Chungju Sports Complex, the Game Village was venue of sporting events for contestants and their families to show their camaraderie and promote cultural exchanges. During afternoon and in the evening a variety of cultural events were held at the village place.

Joo Young-kook, a senior official at the organizing committee, said that, "they have made thorough preparations to host the games in no way inferior to the highest-ever games.”

The service made the competition an opportunity for firefighters worldwide to exchange information and foster comradeship.

The biennial WFG had been held 12 times, with the first one being held in New Zealand in 1990. In 2010, the South Korean city of Daegu hosted the event.

The governing body of the games, based in Perth, Australia, signed a deal in May last year with the government of North Chungcheong Province, to which Chungju belongs, on hosting the competition.6

Indian Fire Services Participation

It was a great moment for the Indian Fire Services as the Indian team won 50 medals at 13th World Firefighters Games and also ranked at the 7th position above the Republic of China, which included seven medals won by the Mumbai Fire Brigade team as they achieved three Gold and Silver Medals each, and one Bronze Medal. There were 6,680 participants from 64 countries.

In their first show participation at the 13th World Firefighters Games, held in Chungju in South Korea between September 10 and 17, officers and firemen of the Mumbai Fire Brigade won big laurels as this was the 1st time an Indian Fire Team participated in the Games including the Toughest Firefighter Alive competition.

2India's water polo team, led by Divisional fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade Mr. Deepak Ghosh, [DFO] and consisting of two station officers, one assistant officer, lifeguard and fireman from the Mumbai Fire Brigade, won silver medal. Three Officers from Mumbai Fire Brigade including 48 Yrs old DFO Ghosh, SO Sonawane & ASO Mulik were awarded certificate of Merit for succesfully completing 'Toughest Firefighter Alive' competition within stipulated time period. The Medal tally of Mumbai Fire Brigade was seven which also included the gold medal in free tennis, a gold in javelin throw as well as the Indian team won gold in baseball matches at the games.

The Fire & Safety Team of Kings Expomedia Ltd along with Mumbai Fire Brigade Officials welcomed and greeted the Winners who were part of the Team that participated in the World Fire Fighter games from the MFB at the Mumbai International Airport (CSIA) on arrival from Chungju (South Korea). The atmosphere around was delightful when a contingent consisting of winners of a global sporting event were welcomed and Greeted with Garlands, banners, bouquet and sweets. The aura of the airport arrival was surrounded with lots of happy faces as the shining star returned home with flying colours.

5Regarding the World Fire Fighter games

The World Firefighter Games is an international sporting event that welcomes all full-time, part-time and volunteer structural firefighters and bush firefighters, and aviation fire services and military emergency response personnel and their immediate direct family from all across the globe.

The games are held biennially in different countries and offer more than 50 different sports and challenges including archery, rugby sevens, windsurfing, poker, swimming, athletics and softball, with the "Toughest FireFighter Alive" being the blue riband event.

The games began in 1988 with first ever World Firefighters Games held in Auckland, New zealand from 22 to 29 April 1990. This initial outing drew 1800 athletes & 1400 supporters from 17 countries.

Purpose

The purpose of the games was to introduce the four following concepts within the services:

1.            To promote health and fitness

2.            To provide a forum for information exchange between fire services

3.            To foster comradeship amongst firefighters

4.            To encourage family participation

The motivation behind the games was to overcome some of the problems with entering the World Police and Fire Games, in that the games are only open to full-time paid firefighters. As most fire services globally use mostly volunteer personnel the World Firefighters Games allows entrants that are full-time, part-time and volunteer, as well as the families of fire service personnel to enter.

3After the first games, an attempt was made to register the name to seek profit. But when the games were held in Perth, Western Australia in 1994 the organising committee felt so strongly about the games belonging to the firefighter that they bought the rights from the original owners and Perth has now become the home of the world governing body, "World Firefighters Games WA Inc". The governing body licenses each fire department and allows use of the name and branding for the running of the event. The governing body is entirely a non-profit organization and all proceeds are donated to charity.

The largest games to date were held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from 16–22 May 1992 with approximately 4,000 athletes and 14,000 supporters and spectators.

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