#TBT Checking up on Dustin and the Firefighter Games!
Last year we spoke with Dustin LePage from the Robson Volunteer Fire Department about their fundraising activities (read: Putting the ‘Fun’ in Fundraising). At that time, they were working towards putting on their first Firefighter Games, and now it’s almost time for the second edition! The Castlegar Source caught up with Dustin to learn all about the 2015 Games:
EXPLOSIVE EXCITEMENT ON TAP AT 2015 FIREFIGHTER GAMES IN PASS CREEK by Kyra Hoggan
The term ‘explosive’ is an exaggeration often used to get people excited about something, but make no mistake – it’s a 100-per-cent-accurate description of the Firefighter Games (see attached video, in which the 2014 opening ceremonies include blowing up a car and RV, and check out the resulting 100-plus-foot fireball).
Family fun was never cooler than this!
“It’s going to be even bigger and better this year, but the details are secret – we intend to really ‘wow’ the crowd,” said Dustin LePage, of the Robson Fire Department which hosts the games.
And that’s literally just the beginning – LePage says the two-day event, slated for Sept. 5 and 6 in the soccer fields in Pass Creek Park, is jam-packed with excitement and entertainment, in a wholesome environment the whole family can enjoy.
Best of all, all proceeds go to Muscular Dystrophy except food vendors, who provide a donation to participate.
“Last year, the Robson Fire Department raised more than $14,000 for Muscular Dystrophy – it’s a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts,” LePage said.
Back to the games, though, last year saw thousands attend – 1,200-plus people at the opening ceremonies alone – and 14 teams comprised of both volunteer and career firefighters competing in eight events designed to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats while testing the competitors on brute strength and endurance as well as a range of difficult and highly-specialized skills.
“We had 14 teams last year, and we already (as of June) have more teams than that registered this year,” LePage said. “We’ve even got one team coming from the Island – they’re making quite a trek.”
The ninth, most exciting event is the finale called MAYDAY MAYHEM – a grueling and sometimes hilarious obstacle course in which even the lowest-scoring team has an opportunity to push hard and gain enough points for a win.
“The whole idea is fun – in the fire halls, we are very serious, doing a serious job,” he said. “This is the opposite.”
Meanwhile, there will be beer gardens, the Pharmasave Castlegar Kids Zone, four top bands playing in one of the largest stage set-ups Enormous Productions has ever created in the Kootenays, the AM Ford VIP Zone, a Chief’s Breakfast on Sunday and more.
“Last year, we were selling a vision – now the word is out,” LePage said, adding the whole thing has become more of a regional undertaking, with Beasley, Nelson, Pass Creek, Passmore and Castlegar fire departments all taking on part of the organization and execution of the event. “We’re on to something big here – I could see hundreds of these events going on around North America at some point.”
He also said last year saw more than 100 volunteers, and they’ll need even more this year, as the event will be significantly larger (to get on board, go tohttp://firefightergames.ca/ifg_about.html ).
LePage says none of this could happen without the staggering support of local businesses.
“We are very, very grateful to the business community – their generosity is absolutely outstanding,” he said. “No one says no.”
Some significant sponsors include:
Interfor; Selkirk Security; United Rentals; Vista Radio; Sleeman Brewry; Chinook Scaffolding; BV Tools; HTR Designs; Arrow Building Supply; Steve’s No Frills.
This article has be republished on our blog with permission. To view the original article, please click here.