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 Chungj, Republic Of South Korea from 10–18 September 2018 with approximately 6,600 athletes and 20,000 supporters and spectators.[citation needed]

LA 2014 was cancelled by the "proprietor"[who?] of the games sometime during the week of 19 May 2014.[citation needed]

The 2020 games in Aalborg were postponed to May 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have since been locked in for 7 to 14 September 2024.[1]

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.


Edition Year City Country
1 1990 Auckland  New Zealand
2 1992 Las Vegas  United States
3 1994 Perth  Australia
4 1996 Edmonton  Canada
5 1998 Durban  South Africa
6 2000 Mantes-La-Jolie  France
7 2002 Christchurch  New Zealand
8 2004 Sheffield  England
9 2006 Hong Kong  Hong Kong
10 2008 Liverpool  England
11 2010 Daegu  South Korea
12 2012 Sydney  Australia
Cancelled 2014 Las Vegas  United States
13 2018 Chungju  South Korea
Deferred due to Covid Pandemic 2024 Aalborg  Denmark
14 2022 Lisbon  Portugal
15 2024 Aalborg  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, and wrestling.

Host countries will vary the events depending on their national games, traditions, and culture.


  1. ^ "Postponed Games". Retrieved 12 September 2020.