Firefighter Eric Kameka is off to New York this week to compete at the World Police and Fire Games

Local firefighters off to New York

There's an important anniversary at World Police and Fire Games 2011 in New York.

Tricia Leslie

Black Press

The Twin Towers, burning in the wake of a shocking terrorist attack, is an image that is likely seared into the minds of many around the world.

So many lives were lost on that horrible day in New York, NY – and many of those killed were first responders and emergency workers, including firefighters and police officers.

That’s why this year, a trip to the World Police and Fire Games 2011 in New York will be an especially poignant event for five White Rock firefighters.

Four of the firefighters going to the Games will compete: Bira Bindra in five-on-five basketball; Cordell Fulton in golf; Eric Kameka in two cycling events, and Richard Mann in soccer.

Bira, who travelled to the 9/11 site in New York in October of 2001, barely a month after the attack, is hoping this trip – nearly 10 years later – will be different.

“That first visit was pretty tough … there was a lot of emotion involved,” he said.

“This time, I hope it’s more fun. It will be interesting to see the progress they’ve made.”

Both he and Kameka are also looking forward to some good, healthy competition.

“It’s nice to compete against your fellow co-workers,” Kameka said, adding it’s a “special” year for him too, because of the sombre anniversary.

The World Police and Fire Games get started Friday and run through Sept. 5, and will see 15,000 athletes competing in 65 sporting events.

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