World Firefighters Games coming to LA next summer

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An LA County firefighter. (AP Photo)

An LA County firefighter. (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Firefighters from around the world will compete in more than 50 events and vie for the title of the “Toughest Firefighter Alive” at next summer’s World Firefighters Games in Los Angeles, which is expected draw more than 10,000 participants to the city, event organizers said.

In additional to traditional sports such as swimming, tennis and track and field, the 10-day competition set for Aug. 15-24 will test skills in surfing, darts, dodge ball and paint ball.

The firefighters also will tests their professional skills in events including a stair run and cook-off.

Los Angeles fire Chief Brian Cummings welcomed organizers of the games to the city at a downtown Los Angeles news conference today. He said the competition would not only “foster economic growth,” with thousands of their firefighters and their families coming to eat and shop, but will also bring firefighters together to share information about promoting public safety.

“So let’s begin the count down to August 2014 when we’ll witness the talent, camaraderie, friendship and a lot of economic growth here in Los Angeles,” Cummings said.

This will be the first time in 20 years since the games were held in the United States, according to Greg Hough, the chief executive officer of the World Firefighter games.

“It was 1992 when 14,000 firefighters descended on Las Vegas, so we hope to get more than that in L.A. and show the firefighters from around the world what a wonderful city you have here,” Hough said.

About $100,000 in proceeds from the games will be donated to the International Association of Fire Fighters to help families of fallen firefighters, he added.

The first World Firefighters Games were held in 1990 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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