Dorrigo win firefighting silver

A SMALL town with big hearts has produced a champion team of firefighters.

The Dorrigo Fire Station crew is hauling home a ute-load of trophies after finishing a close second in the NSW Fire Brigades State Firefighter Championships at Banora Point.

It’s their best-ever result at the titles where Dorrigo has been represented since 1932.

Coffs Harbour has also done our region proud by sealing eighth spot.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s pretty good for a town of 1200 people. It’s a big effort,” said Dorrigo team spokesman Dave Hitchcock.

“We’ve gone one better since the last State event at Tamworth two years ago. It’s taken a lot of weekend time and effort and training, a bit of drive, and get up and go.

“Every afternoon for the past four weeks we were going through our marching drills and running hoses, and it’s been so wet lately we’d have to do it in the car park at the recreation ground because we couldn’t get our motor onto the ground.”

Dorrigo’s fine achievement now gives it an automatic berth at the Australasian Firefighter Championships at Port Macquarie next year when they’ll be up against teams from every State as well as New Zealand.

Dorrigo was the overnight leader heading into yesterday’s final round of competition and it came down to the last event – urban suction – to decide the overall winner, Kelso, from the Central West. The Kootingal Rural Fire Service was third.

“It was one of the closest State titles in many years,” Mr Hitchcock said.

“We just love what we do. The whole championships are about training and honing skills to protect our community.

“We do it for Dorrigo, not ourselves.”

The team of Tony Noble, Brett Keough, Glen Murphy, Dave Hitchcock, his son, Dylan, and Josh Bennett, won a gold, four silver and three bronze medals. They also clinched minor placings at the titles, where 16 events were contested by 33 teams.

The Clarence Valley is also celebrating success with the South Grafton brigade taking ninth spot.

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