World Firefighters Games

The World Firefighter Games is an international sporting event that welcomes all full-time, part-time and volunteer structural firefighters and bush firefighters, and aviation fire services and military emergency response personnel and their immediate direct family from all across the globe.

The games are held biennially in different countries and offer more than 50 different sports and challenges including archery, rugby sevens, windsurfing, poker, swimming, athletics and softball, with the "Toughest FireFighter Alive" being the blue riband event.


The games began in 1988 with the first ever World Firefighters Games held in Auckland, New Zealand from 22 to 29 April 1990. This initial outing drew 1800 athletes and 1400 supporters from 17 countries.

The purpose of the games was to introduce the four following concepts within the services:

  1. To promote health and fitness
  2. To provide a forum for information exchange between fire services
  3. To foster comradeship amongst firefighters
  4. To encourage family participation

The motivation behind the games was to overcome some of the problems with entering the World Police and Fire Games, in that the games are only open to full-time paid firefighters. As most fire services globally use mostly volunteer personnel the World Firefighters Games allows entrants that are full-time, part-time and volunteer, as well as the families of fire service personnel to enter.

After the first games, an attempt was made to register the name to seek profit. But when the games were held in Perth, Western Australia in 1994 the organising committee felt so strongly about the games belonging to the firefighter that they bought the rights from the original owners and Perth has now become the home of the world governing body, "World Firefighters Games WA Inc". The governing body licenses each fire department and allows use of the name and branding for the running of the event. The governing body is entirely a non-profit organization and all proceeds are donated to charity.

The largest games to date were held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from 16–22 May 1992 with approximately 4,000 athletes and 14,000 supporters and spectators.

LA 2014 was cancelled by the "proprietor" of the games sometime during the week of 19 May 2014.

The 2018 games will be held in Chungju, South Korea.

Toughest FireFighter Alive

The Toughest Firefighter Alive, which is specific to the World Firefighters Games, is carried out in full firefighting kit and tests competitors in a number of firefighting-specific disciplines.

There are four parts, all carried out in full firefighting kit.

1. The hose run, carrying a BA set.

2. Obstacle course: competitors are required to carry various pieces of equipment whilst negotiating tunnels and walls.

3. Tower: competitors are required to handle and pitch ladders and to carry firefighting equipment up ropes.

4. Stair climb: competitors are required to climb to the top of a tower, the height of which can vary depending on the country but will normally vary from 100-200m.

At the 2010 games competitors were required to climb Daegu Tower which is 202m high with 83 stories.


  • 1990. Auckland, New Zealand 22 to 29 April - 1,800 Athletes, 17 Countries, 34 Events. Winners: New Zealand
  • 1992. Las Vegas, USA 16 to 22 May - 4,000 Athletes, 22 Countries, 45 Events. Winners: USA
  • 1994. Perth, Australia 20 to 26 March - 2,000 Athletes, 21 Countries, 48 Events. Winners: Australia
  • 1996. Edmonton, Canada 28 July to 3 August, 2,300 Athletes, 25 Countries, 54 Events. Winners: Canada
  • 1998. Durban, South Africa 17 to 23 May 1,800 Athletes, 26 Countries, 55 Events. Winners: South Africa
  • 2000. Mantes-La-Jolie, France 6 to 13 July, 4,000 Athletes, 56 Countries, 61 Events. Winners: France
  • 2002. Christchurch, New Zealand 26 October to 2 November 1,500 Athletes, 30 Countries, 58 Events. Winners: New Zealand Fire Service
  • 2004. Sheffield, England 28 August to 4 September, 2,500 Athletes, 40 Countries, 59 Events. Winners: England
  • 2006. Hong Kong 18 to 25 February, 3,000 Athletes, 37 Countries, 59 Events. Winners: China
  • 2008. Liverpool, England 25 August to 3 September, 3,000 Athletes, 46 Countries, 74 Events. Winners: England
  • 2010. Daegu, Korea from 21–29 August 5230 participants, 46 Countries, 75 Events. Winners Korean Fire Service
  • 2012. Sydney, Australia 19–28 October 1500 Athletes, 30 Countries, 60 Events. Winners: Australia (the Sydney 2012 World Firefighters Games were conducted by WFG Events Pty Ltd under Licence from World Firefighters Games WA Inc)
  • 2018. Chungju, South Korea, 10–17 September, 2018.
  • 2020. Aalborg, Denmark, 22-29 August, 2020.
11990Auckland New Zealand
21992Las Vegas United States
31994Perth Australia
41996Edmonton Canada
51998Durban South Africa
62000Mantes-La-Jolie France
72002Christchurch New Zealand
82004Sheffield England
92006Hong Kong Hong Kong
102008Liverpool England
112010Daegu South Korea
122012Sydney Australia
Cancelled2014Las Vegas United States
132018Chungju South Korea
142020Aalborg Denmark



The core sports of the games are Archery, Arm Wrestling, Badminton, Basketball (3:5, 5:5), Bodybuilding, Ten-Pin Bowling, Bucket brigade, Cross Country Running, Cycling, Climbing, Darts, Eight Ball, Nine-ball, Golf, Horseshoes, Judo, Karate, Bowls, Marathon, Half Marathon, Poker, Powerlifting, Rugby Sevens, Sailing, Skeet Shooting, Soccer, Fastpitch softball, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Toughest Firefighter Alive, Track and Field, Trap Shooting, Triathlon, Tug Of War, Volleyball - 2 man/ 6 man, Windsurfing, Wrestling

The different host countries will vary the events depending on their national games, traditions and their culture.


    • World Firefighters Games Governing Body Web Page
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