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Windsor volunteer firefighter shines at Tecumseh F7 festival

June 19, 2023 
By FFIC Staff

Rob Kolodziejski. Photo supplied by Classic Fire + Life Safety

June 19, 2023, Tecumseh, Ont. – The Tecumseh Fire and Rescue Services Combat Challenge team hosted the Tecumseh F7 Festival on June 3, a family-friendly event where local firefighters and firefighter students went head-to-head in their very own Firefighter Combat Challenge.

Made possible thanks to many generous sponsors from the community, including Classic Fire + Life Safety, the event was an opportunity for many individuals to participate in a simulation of the Firefighter Combat Challenge. Taken on by firefighters around the world, the Firefighter Combat Challenge is a course comprised of multiple firefighting tasks and deemed by many as the most intense six minutes in sports.

One firefighter who tried the difficult challenge for the first time at the festival is Rob Kolodziejski, fire alarm service manager for Classic Fire + Life Safety in Windsor, Ont.

He had joined the company back in 2015 as a fire alarm technician.

“I was extremely motivated by the idea of helping the community and protecting people,” Kolodziejski said. “I had taken some courses in college that had piqued my interest and I knew this would be a rewarding path for me.”

For almost eight years, Kolodziejski has worked to provide his customers with a safe space to live, work, and play through fire protection services — ultimately to protect people. Last year, he was promoted to a management position, giving him more opportunities to oversee day-to-day operations and support a team of technicians with training sessions and inspections.

Even more recently, Kolodziejski also joined the local Tecumseh Fire Department and accomplished his goal of becoming a firefighter, something he had been working towards for many years. Now, in addition to his work as a fire alarm service manager, he can be paged whenever he is needed to answer a fire call.

“On the day of the festival, my team and I answered a house fire call early in the morning,” Kolodziejski said. “When I got back home, I only had an hour to rest before the Firefighter Combat Challenge I had signed up for.”

Kolodziejski had heard of the physically demanding challenge, as many firefighters do, but had never tried it for himself. “Some friends reached out to me and invited me to participate,” he said. “I didn’t have much to lose to try it.”

Kolodziejski participated in the tandem challenge along with a student firefighter and completed it in an impressive amount of time for a first timer.

“The challenge most definitely planted a seed in my mind,” he said. “Eventually, I think I would join a team and compete at a higher level. Perhaps even join the Tecumseh team, if they’ll have me.”

Overall, the one-day festival was an immense success, Kolodziejski added, with many families, children, and student firefighters coming together to celebrate the profession with the community.

“I couldn’t be prouder that Classic Fire + Life Safety was a part of making this great celebration happen,” he said. “The Tecumseh team organized an event where the community came together, and firefighters rallied to have a wonderful time.”

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