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Firefighter Dan smokes opposition

Flagstaff Team

Hosing down the competition… Devonport’s Dan Brady outshone firefighting rivals from around the country, winning the North Island Firefighter Combat men’s title and breaking records in the national champs

A Devonport volunteer firefighter has proven himself one of the country’s strongest, setting national records and taking out the title in a gruelling fitness challenge.

Dan Brady won the men’s open division at this year’s North Island Firefighter Combat Challenge, then went on to break records at the nationals.

“Dan’s a bit of a machine,” says station officer Warren Tucker. “He has basically got the brigade into it and led all the training and held us together as a team.”

The competition involves climbing a three-storey tower, hitting an 82kg beam 1.5m with a sledgehammer, running a slalom course hauling a hose, and dragging a rescue dummy to the finish line, all while wearing full firefighting gear and using breathing apparatus.

Brady trains for up to two hours a day, usually six days a week, sometimes training twice daily as a competition approaches.

This year, he was nursing a lower-back stress fracture and slipped disc, which restricted training. It flared up after the regional competition, impairing him at the nationals, where he placed fifth overall, having finished third in the last two years. However, with teammates, he retained the national title and record for the men’s tandem, won the ‘co-ed’ tandem and broke the national record for the men’s relay.

Nine Devonport firefighters competed and all were placed in the top 50 in the North Island competition in April, with Devonport-registered teams also going on to win the plate relay and championship relay titles at the nationals in May.

“Devonport’s presence in the competition has skyrocketed and drastically increased the brigade’s fitness and strength as a unit, Brady says.

In 2018, Brady and another Devonport firefighter, Scylla Magalhaes, competed in the world championships in the US, placing in the top 40 out of 800 competitors.

In 2017, Brady made the ‘Lion’s Den’ at the world champs, joining an elite group who completed the 30m dummy rescue run in under 100 seconds.

This article originally appeared in the May 31 edition of The Devonport Flagstaff. Download PDF.