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Local Union News
World Police & Fire Games
The World Police and Fire Games are held every two years in different cities all around the world. The games consist of a wide range of events including track and field, power lifting, swimming, shooting, skills events, and team events. The goal of the Games is to promote physical fitness and sport within the police and fire fraternity worldwide. The Games are held biennially and are open to active and retired, publicly employed, full-time firefighters and peace officers around the world. Quebec City, Canada hosted the games in 2005, with Adelaide, Australia hosted in 2007, Vancouver-Burnaby, Canada hosted in 2009, New York, New York hosted in 2011, and Belfast, Northern Ireland is scheduled to host in 2013.
To raise money to cover costs for game registration and travel expenses, the APFA sponsors several events a year including car washes and golf tournaments. Custom T-shirts are also printed and sold to help raise funds.
In 2001, five Avondale firefighters traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete in the World Police and Fire Games. Steve King (swimming), Ryan Becsei (power lifting), Brian Marzsalek (power lifting), Dave Ewan (power lifting), and Chris Spire (golf) proudly represented the Avondale Fire Department, Arizona, and the United States. Steve brought home 1 gold, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze and Brian brought home gold in their respective events.
In Barcelona for the 2003 games, Avondale firefighters again competed with the best the world had to offer. Seven Avondale firefighters including Ryan Becsei (push-pull), Brian Marzsalek (push-pull), Jesse Martinie (push-pull), Steve King (swimming), Frank Saufley (mountain bike racing), Dave Wagner (Toughest Competitor Alive) and Aaron Glass (Toughest Competitor Alive) traveled to Barcelona on July 24th. Once again, Avondale can be proud of how they all competed and represented their country, state, and department. Steve King came home with 11 medals in swimming (5 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze) and Brian Marszalek won gold in push-pull, lifting well more than 1000 lbs. combined in bench press and dead lift.
In Quebec City for the 2005 games, 3 Avondale firefighters joined more than 10,000 police and fire members from around the world to compete once again. The team won medals in the following areas: Ryan Bescei (Gold: Push/Pull Powerlifting, Bronze: Bench press), Jesse Martinie (Silver: Bench press), Steve King: (Silver: 50m freestyle, Silver: 200m medley relay, Bronze: 200 m individual medley).
APFA members already have their crosshairs set on Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2013 and fundraising events are being planned. APFA World Games t-shirts will be available for purchase sometime this year. Proceeds go to APFA charities and help pay for travel to and from the Games.
Steve King receives one of his 11 medals won in swimming competitions in Barcelona, 2003.
Dave Wagner begins the rope climb event in the Toughest Competitor Alive in Barcelona, 2003.
Steve King, Jesse Martinie, and Ryan Becsei show their medals from Quebec City, 2005.