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Wirral firefighters triumph in international competition
Jason McCormack, Damian Lewis and Gary Quinlan with their medals from the dragonboat event in the World Firefighters Games. Picture: MF&RS.
WIRRAL firefighters have won a host of medals in the World Firefighters Games in Sydney.
Firefighter Gary Quinlan from Wallasey Fire Station and retired firefighter Norman Hendrie both received silver in the French boules doubles event.
Wallasey Fire Station’s watchmanager Steve Taylor also secured a gold medal and a bronze for ten pin bowling, which makes seven medals in the past four Games.
Jason McCormack from Kensington Fire Station took part in the indoor rowing category and held on to the World Champion title for the second Games on the run.
He also joined firefighters Paul Rankin from Old Swan and Birkenhead fireman Mark Robinson in the dragon boat racing event in which they secured silver as part of a combined Merseyside and South African team.
The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Football Team also travelled over to Sydney to compete in the week-long event, which is held every two years.
They reached the semi-final of the event but were knocked out by Hong Kong.
Roy Stewart, the MF&RS Football Team Manager who is based at Birkenhead Community Fire Station, said: "Although it was a fantastic trip we were unfortunately beaten 8-7 on penalties in the semi-final by Hong Kong.
"We beat them on penalties in Daegu, Korea, two years ago and we were the better side overall this year.
"The lads put in a great effort overall and the tournament was won by the Australian Navy.
"We look forward to 2014 when the Firefighters Games are held in Los Angeles.
"The team had been fundraising for 18 months and had support through sponsorship from www.yoursuresave.com, Telent, airwave, titan security and the Liverpool FC Foundation along with support from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority."
Former firefighter John Morris, 65, who is now a Youth Co-ordinator on the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Beacon Project, had his hopes for a medal in the triathlon and half marathon event dashed, after suffering sunstroke.
He said: "I went out early to get acclimatised and I was feeling a bit dizzy but I thought it was jet lag.
"I bumped into a nurse while I was out there and she asked if I was ok and started to speak to me about the symptoms of sun stroke.
"This chance meeting stopped me from becoming even more ill and I'm lucky I did not do myself further damage.
"I am always very careful about the effects of heat during training, particularly in hot countries and I was really disappointed I could not take part in events.
"I did cheer on our other medal winners while out there. I have had a good year training at the least."
The UK secured fourth place out of 32 countries, with 66 gold medals, 37 silver medals and 42 bronze medals.
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