Heathrow Firefighter returns from World Games
A few weeks ago we introduced our readers to Heathrow Firefighter James Dajlid who was just about to head off to The 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast(Aug 1-10) . After some serious competing, site seeing, and a lot of fun, James is back at work this week so yourHeathrow caught up with him to hear all about it.
How would you rate the championships overall as an experience? Was it what you expected?
The best of the best! This by far is one of the most challenging competitions, which is packed with speed and power and not for the faint hearted. Yes, it was what I expected with strong competition from all over the world and some taking it more serious than others. In fact, some competitors had to win heats in their own country before they could get the chance to compete in Belfast.
What events did you compete in at the championships, and what were your results?
I competed in the “Ultimate Firefighter” event. This attracted 189 competitors and was by far the most popular and challenging event. Overall, I finished 22nd in the world, 8th in my age category (30-34) and 2nd amongst UK competitors!
Competing was my favourite part about the games and it has left me with so much determination to start training even harder for the European Games in Brussels next year.
Most impressive competitor?
My old friend Herbert Krenn, from Austria, who I met at the Liverpool World Firefighters Games back in 2008. He won a gold medal in his age category (40-44) in Belfast and he is my idol due to his determination, athletic professionalism and all round character.
Best off the field experience at the championships?
The chance to meet other firefighters and police officers from around the world and sharing one another’s experiences was invaluable while also proudly representing Heathrow Airport. I also got the chance to do some site seeing around Belfast including City Hall, the famous Europa Hotel and a visit to HM Prison, Crumlin Road, which was closed in 1996. The prison in particular was a real eye opener!
It was great also to watch other events such as boxing, orienteering and the “Muster” which is a team event where competitors have to transport water using an old fashioned water carrier from one point to another against the clock, while spilling as little as possible.
Anything else you’d like to add about the championships?
The Games is the biggest event for fire fighters and police officers in the world and delivers some 60 different events. It reminds me of the Olympics, though we’re all part-time athletes. There is definitely plenty of hidden talent out there amongst emergency services and I’d recommend anyone that has a passion for a particular sport to get involved with the next games and take on the rest of the world!
I personally have a strong passion for sport and always give 100 per cent, but I couldn’t have got to the games without the great support of my family, friends, crew members and Senior Managers. The only advice I would give to other firefighters and police officers is go and enjoy the experience and if you put the time in training then good results will follow.
Want to know more about what it’s like to be an airport firefighter? Check out our behind the scenes piece here with James’ boss Gary.