In August 2013, the World Police & Fire Games torch was passed from the organizing committee for Belfast 2013 to Fairfax 2015—the organizing committee charged with planning and executing the 2015 Games on behalf of the Fairfax County, Va., public-safety agencies.
This was the culmination of almost a decade worth of work for a Fairfax County firefighter and police officer: Battalion Chief Jerome Williams and 2nd Lieutenant Bruce Blechl.
Despite living and working in the same district of Fairfax County, Williams and Blechl first met in 1999 at the Games in Stockholm, Sweden. That meeting led to a shared goal of bringing the Games to Fairfax County, which turned into a 10-year labor of love. Finally, in 2009 at the Vancouver Games, it was announced that Fairfax County won the right to host the 2015 World Police & Fire Games.
Chief Williams and Lt. Blechl would soon be assigned to work full-time on the preparations for the 2015 Games.
Chief Williams is in charge of Medical and Protocol for the Games. In this role, he oversees the overall Games medical plan. This includes plans for athlete and spectators during competition, recruiting the necessary medical personnel and developing emergency medical protocol. With 61 competitions in 53 separate venues, these plans are a critical component to the success of the 2015 Games.
Fortunately, Chief Williams also has the support of Fairfax County Fire & Rescue to ensure that the level of service provided to the athletes goes above and beyond the contractual obligations to the World Police & Fire Games Federation.
The 2015 World Police & Fire Games will be one of the largest multisport, multivenue athletic events in the world, second only to the Summer Olympics in terms of athlete participation. From June 26 to July 5, the region will welcome 12,000 sworn law-enforcement officers and professional firefighters from more than 70 countries to compete in 61 events.
The events range from profession-specific sports like police K9 and motorcycle competitions and firefighter muster and stair climb, as well as various shooting sports, to team sports like ice hockey, soccer and softball. Athletes will also compete in nontraditional sports like darts, dodgeball, table tennis, billiards and wrist wrestling.
Spectator admission to all competitions and special events are free and open to the public. Highlights include opening ceremonies to be held at RFK Stadium and closing ceremonies at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, where the torch will be passed to the 2017 hosting city, Montreal, Canada.
Reston Town Center, which will host the Athlete’s Village, will be the focus for fun and entertainment and will showcase the presentations of medals for athletes from around the world.
These Games would not be possible without the commitment of the over 4,000 Games volunteers, who believe that supporting the Games of Heroes is a fantastic way to celebrate those who protect their communities every day.
Does your firehouse have an ice hockey team or field a softball team? Do you excel at an individual sport? Sign up to compete; you don't have to be an Olympian, just have the passion and drive to take on the world in your chosen sport. Come take on the World at the 2015 World Police & Fire Games.