Firefighter does S'pore proud

Firefighter Azmir Ali Ameer Ali is used to racing against time.

After six years with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, the 27-year-old has taken part in his fair share of rescue operations.

On Sunday, Staff Sergeant Azmir Ali was in a different race against time and came out tops.

He was one of about 450 firefighters and paramedics from around the world taking part in the Singapore-Global Firefighters & Paramedics Challenge at the Singapore Expo.

He competed in the International category and clocked the fastest time among eight contestants in the event known as Braveheart.

For this challenge, Staff Sgt Azmir Ali carried a ladder and leaned it against a structure which represented a building.

He then rolled up two water hoses on the ground and hoisted them up to the third storey of the structure via a pulley.

Next, he climbed the ladder and carried a victim from the second storey to the ground floor.

After that, he went back to the third storey and shimmied out of the structure and to the ground via a rope.

The task was so challenging that one of the competitors, a firefighter from Nepal, could not complete it.

Staff Sgt Azmir Ali, who said he enjoys doing pull-ups, sit-ups and other exercises in his free time, was delighted and relieved after the win.

"We had been training for weeks, from eight to five every day, and this had put a lot of pressure on me," he said.

"It (the event) was very challenging and (the other teams) put up a hard battle," he said, adding that he has made many friends from other countries as a result of his participation in the competition.

Other challenges

The other challenges - Rip It Off and Stronger, Faster, Higher - were won respectively by the Western Australian Department of Fire & Emergency Services and the Blue Team, which consisted of participants from different countries..

Rip It Off tested participants' ability to handle a traffic accident scenario, while Stronger, Faster, Higher involved the participants working with different organisations to carry out a rescue.

British firefighter Eddy Russell received the consolation prize for Braveheart.

The 48-year-old described the experience as painful, but was thankful for the opportunity.

"It's been really good. Everyone's so friendly and even though we're all competitors, everyone wants to help one another," he said.

Like Staff Sgt Azmir Ali, the officer from the London Fire Brigade has also made new friends.

"I got the chance to meet people from Nepal that I probably would never have met if I didn't come here," he said.

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