Fire Brigade Championships (as we know them today) began as ‘Demonstrations’ where fire brigades demonstrated their skills to the local community. Events in the ‘Demo’ are based on real situations that firefighters face daily and are designed to highlight their talent and expertise.
Following the formation of the NSW Fire Brigades in 1910, it was not until 1932 that ‘Demos’ were reinstated as a regular occurrence. Now, State Firefighting Championships continue to be one of Fire and Rescue NSW’s (formerly NSW Fire Brigades’) longstanding and proudest traditions.
2010 Firefighters State Championship, Banora Point
The 2010 Firefighters State Championship hosted by Banora Point Fire Station saw a return to our northern border for the fourth time, 50 years since the first time it was hosted at Tweed Heads in 1960. Between these years, Championships were held in the area during the years of 1968 and 1980.
The State Championship at Tweed Head was a five-day affair, held from 23 to 28 October 2010. Around 500 firefighters from across NSW and further afield converged on Tweed Heads’ Recreational Park to compete for the Championship title, which was held by the 2008 State Champions, Nowra Fire Brigade. Kelso was identified as a strong contender as the team had displayed consistently strong performances across regional Championships during the period of 2009 to 2010.
Visitors from other agencies included Kootingal (NSW RFS), Echuca and Lakes Entrance (Vic CFA), South Melbourne (Vic MFB), Kaitangata (NZ). Two teams representing Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority were also in attendance.
The 2010 Champions
After a week of competition, Kelso proved to be the best team. This win was the second of their three State titles, with first places awarded in 2004 and again in 2012. Dorrigo and Kootingal RFS also achieved great success as second and third place winners overall, then came the very consistent Glen Innes, followed by the emerging Berry.
Victorian visitors from Echuca won the first of their two discipline titles as well as the Hose, Hydrant & Extinguisher event. However, Kelso proved the importance of consistency, with just three wins in their top ten finishes in eleven of the twelve track events. Dorrigo with a similar story obtained one win in their eight top six placings.
Kootingal’s wins in the two and four-competitor Hose & Hydrant, and BA events were rewards for their hard work and competing across the State. Glen Innes had two wins for the week and won the Motor Aggregate whilst Kootingal were worthy winners of the Reddaway Casket for Hose Events.
The 2010 Host, 514 Station Banora Point
Although Banora Point had hoped to have the home ground advantage, their strong team did not place at the 2010 State Championship. However, the Brigade does have an interesting history which makes it a winner in our books!
In 1983, the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW established 514 Station at Tweed Heads as a temporary measure until the construction of additional bridge crossings were completed. Records indicate that the commencement of operation dates to 20 January 1983. The Brigade recently celebrated 38 years as a result!
As it was only meant to be a temporary Station, it was originally manned by the Deputy Captain and six firefighters from 468 Station Tweed Heads. To account for this, 468 Station’s authorised staffing level was increased by 3. NSW Fire Brigades’ ‘In Orders’’ show that in 2000 the entire unit manning Banora Point were officially transferred from 468 to 514 Station.
Over the years, the Station has been known by several names, including South Tweed Heads, Tweed River and Banora Point. Today’s Banora Point Fire Station forms an important part of the Tweed Shire’s emergency services and wider community.
-Story by Championship Historian John Hand and Museum of Fire Heritage Team