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Lanigan Fire Fighter's Rodeo set to roll on 9-11

September 11, which has become a day to mourn those lost in the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 will become a day to celebrate firefighters in Lanigan this year.

September 11, which has become a day to mourn those lost in the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 will become a day to celebrate firefighters in Lanigan this year.On September 11, PotashCorp Lanigan will be hosting its 29th annual Fire Fighter's Rodeo in the community of Lanigan.Competing in the rodeo will be nine teams - six emergency response teams from PotashCorp mine sites at Lanigan, Patience Lake, Rocanville, Allan, Cory and New Brunswick, along with teams from three community fire departments in Lanigan, Humboldt and Rocanville.These nine teams will be taking part in seven events run throughout the day, events that focus on both brains and brawn.

Those that require more brainwork include the Search and Rescue, First Aid, Practical Skills and fire extinguishment events.In these events, teams are put into unfamiliar scenarios and have to either save people from a house, provide them with medical treatment, douse different forms of chemical fires or perform some other part of their training.The brawn-focused events include the burst hose event, the challenge relay and water soccer.The first two of these events are timed, and firefighters are scored according to how well they change hoses, complete the five events in the challenge relay - forcible entry, victim carry, fire extinguishment, sprinkler shut-off and water target shooting.

The day's events always wrap up with Water Soccer, a fun event where teams put their ability to aim water accurately to the test.The 2010 rodeo, which will see the PotashCorp Patience Lake team defend their title as overall winners in 2009, will be the second attended by the team from New Brunswick. But the rodeo is about more than competition. It's also about honouring these teams, all of whom dedicate time to protecting others - at the mine sites, or in their communities."We're here to honour you for your fine characters, sincere motives and outstanding efforts," Rob Bubnick, general manager of PotashCorp Lanigan, said at last year's event.The rodeo also serves as a motivation for teams to train hard in skills that they actually need on the job.

The practise "helps us better... prepare... to successfully respond in any situation," said Bubnick.Watching his team prepare for this year's rodeo during a session on August 26, Humboldt Fire Chief Norbert LeBlanc concurred."It's good practise for the guys... especially the young guys," LeBlanc said. "Whatever skills they get here, we use for real fires."Things like the burst hose event, for example, have firefighters practise changing lines, something they often need to do at fire scenes.LeBlanc said he's even seen a difference in how well young firefighters are able to target a fire with a hose after competing in the rodeo, where they are required to accurately aim a hose for different events.The 2010 PotashCorp Lanigan Fire Fighter's Rodeo will get going at 8 a.m. on September 11 at the Lanigan Arena/Hall Recreation Complex.