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REF NO.: 236

SUBJECT: SERT Centre gearing up for Firefit Competition

DATE: Aug. 1

                  From  Aug. 2-3, competitors from all across the country will converge on the Marine Institute’s Safety and Emergency Response Training (SERT) Centre in Stephenville for the 2008 Canadian Firefit Atlantic Regional Event. The competition is based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations. It caters to many competitors from seasoned veterans to first-time rookies. The event will serve as a regional qualifying event for the national championship being held in Quinte West, Ont., later this year.
            Both students and staff have been training extremely hard for the event and are prepared to take on the challenges which include: the stair climb, hose hoist, running, forcible entry, and victim rescue.
            SERT Centre Manager Craig Harnum is excited to host the popular event again this year. “It’s hard to believe that competition time is here again. The staff here has taken on the biggest challenge of all – getting this show ready and making it happen,” he said. “With the support of the Marine Institute and the never-ending work of a great staff, there is nothing left to do now but get ready to rumble!”
            The event will kickoff with individual competitions. Mr. Harnum will be competing in the chief’s division. In 2007, he won a Silver Medal in this division at the national competition in Halifax, N.S. Various SERT Centre staff members will be competing, including Mike Shannahan, Chris Young and Ian Gavet. This will be the first year of individual competition for Mr. Young, while Mr. Shannahan competed as a student in 2007 at the national event in Halifax. Mr. Gavet will complement the SERT Staff Relay Team. Fifteen firefighting students currently enrolled in the Fire Rescue Program at the SERT Centre will be also competing. 
            The second event, the team relay is comprised of three to five individuals to complete one or more of the five tasks. This is a highly skilled event. Finally, the NXG Relays involves two participants. One will have to don their SCBA at the start of the time clock and complete the first half of the course. Upon completion, the second competitor will remove the cylinder and have it placed on his/her back to go on to complete the second half of the course. 
            Firefit has specialized in presenting this flag ship event since 1994. The competition is recognized by fire departments not only in Canada but worldwide and once again the SERT Centre will get the opportunity to showcase their modern facilities and equipment.
            The event is expected to draw between 80 and 85 participants from across eastern Canada. 
            The SERT Centre operates as a satellite campus of the Marine Institute’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre in co-operation with the Stephenville Airport Corporation.
            For more information on the competition visit

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For more information, please contact Stephanie Barrett, public relations and communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute at  778-0677, or Kimberley Thornhill, educational marketing co-ordinator, 778-0544, 691-9221,


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