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Great showing by Grande Prairie competitors at regional FireFit challenge

The Northern Prairie Regional FireFit Challenge wrapped up in Grande Prairie Sunday with an exciting team relay challenge that saw local firefighters take home the gold medal.

Captain Todd Russell says the race against Fort McMurray came down to the wire.

“We knew it was going to be a tough race, because we know they’re a really fast team; they’ve got some great guys. We got a little bit behind, so you could definitely tell the crowd was a little bit anxious for us. We kept working strong, caught up a little bit, and we ended up sneaking out a 3/10’s of a second win over them; so the perfect come from behind type of win for the home team.”

Winning that event means their team gets a bye at the national event in Quebec later this year.

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Grande Prairie also placed second in the team rankings, and had an individual among the top three men.

Other big winners from the weekend was the group from Edmonton that won the team event, the new Deputy Chief from Hinton Mark Wyatt placed first in the Over 55 category, and Colin Buchan of High Level was the top Chief. Up next is the Southern Regionals in Medicine Hat.

FireFit Championships across the country are sponsored by Scott Safety, and in Grande Prairie, the games benefitted from support from Vector Communications, Happy Trails RV, the Downtown Association, Apex Security, and the City.

The event saw teams from as far away as Medicine Hat and Charlie Lake, B.C., but Russell was encourage by the growing number of regional teams like from Edson and Hinton.

Up next is the Southern Prairie Regionals in Medicine Hat at the end of the month.

Photo: Aaron Makkinga of Shell Scotford ERT (1st), Todd Russell of GPFD (3rd), and Fraser O’Neill of the Fort McMurray Fire Department (2nd)

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