Female Firefighters take on Welsh Firefighter Challenge

On Saturday, June 3rd 2023, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) firefighters will be competing in the Welsh Firefighter Challenge, two MAWWFRS explain why they're taking part and how they're preparing.

The Welsh Firefighter Challenge is a set of tough physical and mental tests, undertaken in full structural fire kit, which are designed to showcase the skills and strength of firefighters.  On the day, there’ll also be a ‘Community Safety Village’ where spectators will have the opportunity to visit a variety of organisations, such as Wales Air Ambulance, the RNLI and many more, providing a great opportunity to discuss and receive community safety advise.

Two MAWWFRS firefighters, Donna Vaughan of Machynlleth Station and Lisa Reynolds of Newtown Station, have recently shared why they’re taking part in the challenge and what motivates them to prepare.

 

Donna Vaughan – Machynlleth Station

Why have you registered to take part in the Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

Originally, my colleague Lisa and I were just going to go and watch it this year, but my competitive mind thought “no, let's just do it”, and with very little persuasion Lisa was on board and we signed up. I also got Steffan from my home station (Machynlleth) and another, Grace, from Fishguard Station signed-up to do it.

How are you preparing for the Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

I'm training regularly, going between cardio and weights, Steffan and I will also be doing some training at our station.

What is your biggest motivation when training/competing?

There are a few reasons why I've signed up, like I mentioned I'm very competitive and I like to push myself to see how far my body and mind can take me. I also want to show my two young girls, Gracie and Georgie, that we can achieve anything we put our minds to and I also want to make them proud.

Which Welsh Firefighter Challenge test are you looking forward to the most?

I love hose running and making it up so that's what I'm looking forward to.

Which Welsh Firefighter Challenge test are you dreading the most?

I'm not looking forward to the hammer throw as I haven’t had a proper chance to train for it.

What made you become a firefighter?

I wanted to be a firefighter for many years but due to work commitments and starting a family, it was put on the shelf.  However, a year after the first lockdown, I had the opportunity to apply and here we are!

What do you enjoy most about being a firefighter?

As an on-call firefighter, it's the adrenaline rush the alerter gives you, wondering what job you will be going to and how are we going to help the people who need us.

What would your advice be to any firefighters considering taking part in this year’s Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

For those thinking about it train hard and have fun and if your already signed up good luck to you all.

 

Lisa Reynolds – Newtown Station

Why have you registered to take part in the Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

I registered to take part in the Welsh Firefighters Challenge because I enjoy a challenge. I would also like to inspire people to believe that they can achieve anything if you work hard.

How are you preparing for the Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

To prepare, I am training hard most days in the gym and at the fire station, using weights and doing cardio exercises.

What is your biggest motivation when training/competing?

My greatest motivation is becoming better than my former self, to be strong and confident enough to help protect and rescue others that may be in great trouble.

Which Welsh Firefighter Challenge test are you looking forward to the most?

I’m looking forward to the hose running test the most.

Which Welsh Firefighter Challenge test are you dreading the most?

I’m dreading the hammer throw as I struggle to train for that test.

What made you become a firefighter?

I became a firefighter because I feel as if I’m strong in body and mind, and I wanted to use these skills to help people and to make a difference.

What do you enjoy most about being a firefighter?

I enjoy the adventure and the challenge, but mostly the appreciation from the people we help, knowing that if we hadn't been there to help, things could have been very different.

What would your advice be to any firefighters considering taking part in this year’s Welsh Firefighter Challenge?

To others thinking about taking part in the challenge, train hard and let’s show everyone what the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service crews are made of!

 

The Welsh Firefighter Challenge 2023 is open to current and retired firefighters and will take place in Castle Square, Swansea.  The first race will start at 10am and registration is now open.

 Welsh Firefighter Challenge 2022