This spring, Team MonctonMoves.Com, who consisted of only 2 members the previous year (Jamie Richford and Matt Dunfield) in a department of just over 100, were excited to start the year of with the addition of 2 more member's (Marcel Dupuis and Jason Bergeron) from the previous years recruitment class. We started the year off early in Kissimmee because we wanted to gain experience in the year to come with the addition of 2 new members.
Our first competition we experienced teams like Sam Squad and Team Met-RX. These are teams that were strong in all areas such Team, Relay and Tandems. We knew by the end of our first competition that we wanted to be a part of the elite teams and left the competition satisfied by medaling, but unsatisfied knowing that we had much more potential then we displayed.
We continued to train hard, being a smaller team with 4 of the 5 members under 190 pounds and all but one under six feet didn't phase any of us, we actually invited this challenge on and maybe used it as some sort of motivation and inspiration. Our biggest member, a competitive lumberjack Marcel Dupuis, probably used our notion in reverse, in that he didn't want us little guys showing him up...good old intra-team competition continued to drive all of us forward.
Like any team we had our strengths and weaknesses amongst team members and we used that to all get better. Some were stronger, some were faster, and some were more efficient and we all took notes and tried to improve in all those areas.
We took a couple of weeks off to rehab our injuries and defeats and then all got together and decided what our plan was for Worlds. In the end 5 of us committed (Jamie Richford, Marcel Dupuis, Jason Bergeron, Matt Dunfield and Collin Powers) and we started our fundraising drive to raise the funds required to get to Las Vegas. Team MonctonMoves.Com raises money throughout the year and donates 20% of all proceeds to F.A.C.E (Firefighters Against Cancer's Existence). The Team truly is ambassadors to the foundation here in Moncton and donates a check once a year at Nationals in support of this great cause. For more information visit: www.monctoncombatchallengeteam.com.
We altered our training before Worlds...let's just say we began to train smarter not necessarily harder. We seemed to all enjoy the benefits of this training in that we were all running faster cleaner runs on our practice course.
Our goals going into Worlds was top 5. After looking over the Firefighter Challenge website and following all the results throughout the year we figured that if we all ran good runs we could accomplish a top 5 finish and maybe even slide into 3rd. We figured out that 3 1:35's could win it with a Team time 4:45.
We arrived in Vegas with excitement! Only 2 members had visited before. We knew we would have our fun days after the event, so we all buckled down and prepared for Qualifying. After the first day we became supper excited. Three of our members (Jamie Richford, Jason Bergeron and Collin Powers) ran personal best. Jamie Richford lead the way with a 1:32. One member (Jason Bergeron) actually surpassed everyones expectations, with a 1:33. The Team got very excited! After that we all got an itch that maybe we could come in and steal this under the radar.
The following day again seen some personal best with Marcel Dupuis bouncing back big time with a 1:34 and Matt Dunfield and Collin Powers both equalling or setting a personal best. However our hope and wonder Jason Bergeron, took a step back with a 1:44. Although concerned, we all still had the belief that we could be a top 3 team now with a shot at 1st knowing what everyone was capable of.
Going into Final day Matt Dunfield and Colin Powers both ran personal best once again breaking the 1:50 mark, but now the pressure was on the final 3 members to achieve the 3 1:35 times we thought could win. Our strategy was simple, not go out there thinking that a personal best will only due. Our plan was for Jason Bergeron to get us under 1:38 and for the other 2 members to run under 1:35 (low 1:30's). Jason Bergeron started us off with a 1:37, he did his part. Marcel Dupuis followed up with a 1:31, personal best! He did his part. The final member to go now just needed a low 1:30 and then let the stars align. Jamie Richford finished close to his personal best with a 1:33... Moncton became WORLD CHAMPIONS with a time of 4:41. Four second under what they thought could win and 3 seconds ahead of 2nd place (Kamloops), 3rd (Nor-Cal), and 4th (Halifax). Second to fourth all separated by less then 1 second.
The Team was huddled together during the ceremonies anxiously waiting to hear there names called. After the competition the rumor was floating around that we won but we quickly disregard it because of penalties by other teams we were not sure where we placed, Once we heard the 3rd and 2nd place finishers we got nervous thinking we may have finished 4th. We still never heard them say Team Met-RX or Halifax. The announcement came and we jumped in the air all at once screaming we did it! All the hard work paid off and the team could not be more excited and honored to be FCC World Champions.
Our Team would like to thank The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge (Paul Davis) and it's sponsors for all they do for us competitors. They offer us a venue to keep in shape and meet other firefighters that go beyond our workplace. We would also like to thank all the competitors who show up to these events, without everyone’s involvement it would not be what it is today. A special thanks to the past champions who push other teams to be better, fitter, and faster! Lastly, our sponsor MonctonMoves.Com who has been with us for 3 years and counting. We could not have achieved this extraordinary goal without your support and dedication to us. Also, to our Chief, Eric Arsenault, representing the City of Moncton and our IAFF Local 999 for their continued support.
"This is a spectacular achievement," Mayor George LeBlanc of Moncton
Since the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge is the Olympics of firefighting, LeBlanc said, "it was fitting they arrived back home in Moncton the same night the Olympic Flame came to our city."
"Being the best in the world is just an outstanding accomplishment, and we certainly take great pride in the work of all our firefighters," Mayor LeBlanc said.
Deputy chief for operations Don McCabe praised the dedication of the firefighters.
"Every day, when I stop at Station 2 on my rounds, there is always at least one of them training," he said.
"Their dedication to this sport has been their life in the department," he added, noting how they constantly train both on and off duty and then busy themselves with things like fundraising on days off.