Pictured with the spoils of their success at the 41st annual Wajax rural firefighting competition in Omarama on Saturday are the Glenorchy Volunteer Firefighters ladies' team (from left) Jess Scott, Hayley Douglas, Eraina Temple and Nicole Scott, with Glenorchy Chief Fire Officer Dick Watson. Photo supplied.
Glenorchy's female firefighters ruled supreme at the 41st
annual Wajax rural firefighting competition in Omarama on
Saturday, taking home a haul of eight trophies.
The event, named after the Wajax portable fire pump, is the
biggest and longest-running competition in New Zealand, and
returned for the second time to where it was first held in
Teams from Otago and Southland battled it out in timed events
involving rural firefighting equipment.
Representing Glenorchy were two teams - one men's and one
women's - but only one could come out on top in the battle of
the sexes and the ladies' experience saw them claim
Glenorchy volunteer firefighter Eraina Temple and team
members Hayley Douglas and sisters Jess and Nicole Scott won
all three of the weekend's female team challenges - and then
"We won all three races, got the trophy for finishing top of
the ladies, one for the least number of penalties, the
combined one for all three runs added up and, probably the
best, the award for most consistent out of all 20 teams,
including the men," Ms Temple said.
The challenges involved running 30m with equipment from the
starting line, setting it up and pumping from a water source
using the Wajax pump and knocking down targets with the
Challenges included a "punctured hose", with team members
made to return to the start and carry more gear, and the
"Hydroblender race", where one team had to carry and set up
the Hydroblender unit, which turns water into soapy foam.
The men's team did not win any trophies but did very well
given a tough situation, Ms Temple said.
"They had a couple of new guys this year - one of whom who is
new to the fire service - and one of the guys had to pull out
at the last minute, so we had to pull our fire chief in."
Despite the team training about three time a week, the
challenges were "a big learning curve".
However, the competition was a great chance to meet their
Otago and Southland comrades, she said.
"If there's a situation where we have a very big fire and
have to call in other teams, then you already know them ...
and it's really good training for us, especially as a young