Firefighters gear up for World Games challenge

PUBLISHED: 13:23 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:34 10 June 2010

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29: A GROUP of Exmouth firefighters have set off to represent the county and compete in the World Firefighters Games. Firefighter Ryan Draper, 33, watch manager Dave Jones, 45, crew manager Dave Passmore, firefighters Lyndon Mason, 35, and Pete Trapnell are f

A GROUP of Exmouth firefighters have set off to represent the county and compete in the World Firefighters Games.Firefighter Ryan Draper, 33, watch manager Dave Jones, 45, crew manager Dave Passmore, firefighters Lyndon Mason, 35, and Pete Trapnell are from now until September 2 in Liverpool competing in the firefighters' equivalent of the Olympics.Now in its 10th year, and this year hosted by Mersyside Fire and Rescue Service, Exmouth's finest will be competing against firefighters from all over the world - and competition is stiff.The games will feature 60 sporting events over a period of 10 days, attracting in excess of 5,000 competitors.Firefighters from Devon and Somerset fire service have the added honour of leading the opening ceremony.Former Royal Marine Dave Jones, taking part in the indoor rowing competition, has undergone a rigorous training programme in the hope of coming first in the 2,000 metre race."I reckon we will win something," he said. "I am looking forward to taking part and meeting other firefighters from all over the world."Dawlish FC goalkeeper Ryan Draper, who is taking part in the football competition, said: "There's quite a lot of pressure but I'm feeling very confident about it. We have got a good side."Withycombe Rugby Club member Dave Passmore said: "I'm excited but there's pressure as I am playing for the national side. There might be a bit of expectation to do well."Lyndon Mason, competing in the dragon boat racing with Pete Trapnell, said his team had been training with the Royal Marines' top-class dragon boat team."Because the competition is in this country it gives us the chance to take part. Otherwise we would have to get sponsorship if it was abroad," he said.The last time the games were held in the UK - in Sheffield in 2004 - two British national records were broken.The World Firefighters Games was started by an American entrepreneur and a committee of international firefighters.The first event was held in Aukland, New Zealand, in 1990.In 1992 the bi-annual games went to Las Vegas, in 1996 Edmonton, in Canada, Durban, South Africa, in 1998, and, in 2000, it was held in Mantes, France.Two years ago the games were held in Hong Kong, China.

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