Toughest firie visits Ballina
THE world's toughest firefighter, Joachim Posanz of Germany showed off his strength and skill at Ballina Fire and Rescue station on Saturday.
Mr Posanz was touring Australia to promote the coming World Firefighters Games to be held at Sydney Olympic Park in October.
To demonstrate his strength and agility, the champion climbed a 12m ladder while wearing a 20kg fire-fighting suit and holding a 30kg hose.
It wasn't enough to make him sweat, though, and afterwards, the energetic German picked up a Ballina fire-fighter and sprinted around a fire truck. Still not satisfied, he unrolled and rolled 30-metre fire hoses at pace.
The onlooking Ballina firefighting crew were impressed.
"After 30 years in the fire brigade, I've never seen someone roll up a hose that quick," Northern Rivers Fire and Rescue zone commander Chris Bond.
Mr Posanz had trained every day for years to develop his fire-fighting skills.
"Every week I do two days lifting, two days running - I do low runs, fast runs and stair runs - and then I do special training," Mr Posanz said.
The World's Toughest Firefighter competitors must complete challenges similar to those in their job.
"You have to get a dummy that weighs 80kg then run 80m with it and climb a three-metre wall," Mr Posanz explained.
Competitors are also required to run up a 20-floor-high set of stairs while wearing fire-fighting equipment.
World Firefighter Games media manager Karen Phillips said Mr Posanz's enthusiasm would inspire Australians.
"I think bringing Joachim out to Australia has given people the opportunity to meet someone who's amazing at what they do and is totally dedicated to the life they lead," she said. "I think that's the kind of spirit that has helped to gain SES volunteers and volunteer fire-fighters around Australia."
Mr Posanz flies back to Germany today and returns to Australia a week before the World Firefighters Games to defend his title.
"I'm getting older; I'm 40 in Octo-ber, but it's no problem because most winners in The World's Toughest Firefighter are in the age group 35 to 40," he said.
"If you are young, you are very fit, but it's not enough. You need the discipline to be there every day training."
Mr Posanz insisted he will never give up and will fight to the end at this year's World Firefighters Games.