Walpole firefighters win third consecutive provincial title
David Gough - Courier Press
The Walpole Island fire department had the top team for the third year in a row at the Ontario Native Firefighters Society competition held this past weekend. The 21st annual competition was hosted by Oneida of the Thames and ran all day Saturday at the Oneida Nation of the Thames Community Centre. With the win, the fire department takes home $1,000 and the Walpole Island team will advance to the Canadian Native Firefighters competition to be held in Winnipeg in August.
The competition involves a variety of events involving six-men teams. Even though the team is young, it's experienced. That experience helps when it comes to the competition, said Walpole Island fire chief Charlie Wright. "This is our fourth (provincial title) since 2006. Since 2006 we've been to the nationals three times and placed third twice out of those three times," Wright said.
Walpole Island beat the hometown Oneida of the Thames team to take the 2011 title. Six teams from across the province took part in the competition. The next few weeks will involve fundraising to get the team to Winnipeg.
Wright said that since this is the fourth trip for the team to the nationals, he hopes they can finish higher than third. "We've got the first place in mind in Winnipeg."
Team members include Ivan John (captain), Bobby Smith, Nigel Blackbird, Bronson Soney, Keith Peters and Cyril Peters. Wright said the team trains hard to get ready for the competition. "They start practicing four months in advance and give their heart and soul into it."