Martin Rennie

Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

Category: Sports Honour Roll

Sport: Fire Brigade Competition

One of our emergency services, the Country Fire Authority has a competition between brigades that tests the athleticism and ability of the members of the Brigade running teams. Brigades from across Australia come together to compete in fierce competition. Local brigades train furiously to gain the opportunity to try themselves against the best teams in a range of events.

The reel events with water attract attention, however the Ladder and Hydrant races are the premier individual events in the competition.

The Ladder race is an incredibly fast event requiring competitors to sprint for 22 metres along the track, then climb a six metre ladder and cross a 3 metre platform in the quickest time possible. The event requires participants to be super fit and be able to place their feet in a precise position as they climb the ladder at full pace.

Firemen from across the country train for countless hours as they try to bring their time down as low as possible.

The City of Greater Shepparton has boasted some top performers over the years, but one man stands out above the rest of the competitors. The Tatura Fire Brigade is justly proud of Martin Rennie who has won so many accolades as a Ladder Man and has held the record for the event over many years.

Martin is a member of the famous Rennie family who have given so much to the Tatura Fire Brigade and have all been successful in Fire Brigade competition.

At 11 years of age Martin joined two of his brothers in the junior running team which won several championships. On moving into senior competition he had a goal to win the Ladder race. He trained 5 days a week including running up the Tatura Milk external staircase and the Whroo mine area at Rushworth.

The training paid off and Martin was successful in the senior State Championships in 1992. He won the Ladder event in a time of 6.22 seconds. He won the next year in a time of 6.06 seconds, breaking the record set 15 years earlier. The Tatura boy had arrived as a top performer and everyone took notice of his events times. Martin won again in 1994, and at Bendigo in 1996 he set a record time of 5.99 seconds which still stands today as the best time in Australia. So Martin is still the current record holder for the ladder race and is the only person in Australia to record a time below 6 seconds Three of his winning times are the fastest ever recorded in championship history. Martin Rennie is renowned as a ladder champion throughout Australia.

He also competed for Tatura in 4, 6 and 8 person team events pushing a reel and hoses and aiming water at a target. With his younger brother Shaun and two others, Martin and his team won two Champion Four events at State Championships. Martin retired from the ladder race in 1998 to allow his brother Shaun to represent Tatura. Shaun won the event three times.

The current annual winner of the Ladder Race at State Championship level is awarded the Martin Rennie Shield a medallion that is donated by Tatura Fire Brigade and presented by Martin.

After his retirement from competition Martin commenced coaching the Tatura Junior teams.

Under Martin’s coaching Tatura Juniors have won seven Junior State Championships and were runners up twice. They have also won all 5 aggregates and have been overall championship brigade at the one championship three times.

Martin has also been thrilled to see his 4 children compete for Tatura Fire Brigade and have all been members of winning championship teams.

The City of Greater Shepparton salutes Martin Rennie for his dedication to protecting the community and his support of the Tatura Fire Brigade. For his success in Fire Brigade events Martin is now inducted into the roll of honour in the City of Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame.