Women-only events introduced into firefighter championships

By Rodney Woods

For the first time in the 147-year history of the Victorian Firefighter Championships, women will be able to battle against each other exclusively in two Marshall events at the 2020 contest.

The Marshall is a traditional event first introduced into urban championships in the 1890s by former chief officer TS Marshall.

The event was designed to assist in the training of volunteers in the coupling and uncoupling of hoses, setting hydrants and fixing branches without using any water in the quickest time possible.

CFA deputy chief officer Stephanie Rotarangi encouraged female volunteer members to get involved in this year’s two women-only Marshall events.

“The landmark introduction of the women-only events is a welcome addition to the championships this year,” Dr Rotarangi said.

“These events will give CFA’s female volunteers an opportunity to showcase their operational and teamwork skills, particularly in the two-competitor Marshall event.”

Euroa CFA volunteers Rebecca Noye and Teagan Kubeil will feature in the new events.

“Being the first ones (events) at the championships and being in District 22, it's pretty exciting,” Miss Noye said.

“We will be competing in the one-woman and two-woman Marshall events,” Miss Kubeil said.

Both women followed their families’ footsteps to volunteer for the brigade and have competed at junior levels before making a transition into the senior ranks, competing in mixed events with their male colleagues. Mixed events will continue to be held alongside the women-only contests at the state championships.

Miss Noye and Miss Kubeil have been training once a week for two hours since November, preparing for the March 28 and 29 event.

The duo said the experience of competing at events, such as the upcoming championships, allowed them to share knowledge with others.

“You make lifelong friends,” Miss Noye said.

“You are meeting different people from different areas so you can gather new experiences and pass on knowledge.”

“It just shows the wider community that the CFA is not just all about fighting fires but it brings everyone together,” Miss Kubeil said.

The Victorian Firefighter Championships will be held in Mooroopna on Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29.

The two-day event will see competitors in the Urban Seniors, Rural Seniors and Rural Juniors take part.