RCA’s recent graduates showcase new skills in Fire Games

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Photo credit: Mike Richardson


Hours before the graduation of UVU’s Firefighter Recruit Candidate Academy spring class #71, the new graduates won the RCA’s traditional Fire Games, where they got to compete against RCA alumni in activities such as, pulling fire engines full of 500 gallons of water and breaching sheetrock walls. The event was held at the UVU Emergency Services Campus Dec. 16.

The Fire Games are held ever semester on the day RCA students graduate. There were 28 RCA graduates and 8 RCA alumni participating in the competition. The event usually has an equal number of participants on each team but due to alumni moving away and other issues they were not able to recruit enough alumni.

“I’ve participated ever since I graduated in the spring of 2014. I think it’s fun coming to see what the RCA class is doing. Competing against them is always fun,” Nick McQueen, RCA alumni recruiter and firefighter at the Orem Fire Department said.

The events targeted their skills in strength, speed, and accuracy. The friendly competition was made up of nine events and both teams were at a tie throughout the competition. It came down to the last event, tug-of-war, where the current RCA graduates used teamwork to beat the RCA alumni.

One of the events won by the recent RCA graduates was turn out drills, where they had to put on their gear as quickly and as accurately as possible. According to Jake Dennison, RCA instructor, the event tests and helps them have a shorter response time to be able to travel to emergencies faster.

An event won by the alumni was the tire pull relay, which consisted of firefighters running laps while pulling a 125-pound-tire across their backs. Most of the events were won with the other team following closely—usually seconds behind.

On an event called the apparatus pull, four men on each team were tasked with pulling a fire engine filled with 500 gallons of water for at least 100 feet. The winner of the apparatus pull was the RCA alumni.

“I’m glad it’s over and sad that it’s over at the same time,” Landon Griffiths, recent RCA graduate said.

Among the audience members were partners, family and friends of the recent graduates.

“It’s a fun and friendly competition, I think it’s funny to see the interaction between them,” Olivia Griffiths, wife of a current RCA graduate said.