Challenge issued to R-C area firemen

Published 10:21 am Monday, May 9, 2016

WOODLAND – Firefighters are famous for their competitive nature….perhaps due to the adrenaline that rushes through their veins as they battle a blaze in an effort to save lives and property.

Thanks to a unique event devised by members of the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department, local firefighters can tap into that competitive spirit and earn bragging rights without the stress of putting their lives in harm’s way.

On Saturday, May 14, the Woodland VFD is hosting its inaugural Family Day and Firefighter Competition. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Tri-County Airport, located off NC 561.

“We had been kicking around a few ideas of how to grow our department and have some fun at the same time,” said Stewart Beasley, a spokesman for the Woodland firemen. “It started out with just a Family Fun Day, but as we talked more about that, an idea was put on the table to invite our comrades from fire departments here in our area and stage a competition.”

Beasley said the latter idea was the brainchild of Woodland VFD Chief Greg Canady and fireman Chris Collier.

“They see it as a friendly competition between fire departments, but overall it’s a great idea just to get all our families together and enjoy some food and each other’s company,” Beasley stated.

The competition will consist of four-person teams tackling six obstacles, starting with scaling a six-foot wall. From there, the firemen will dress in full turnout gear, including SCBA (air pack; minus the hood and mask) and weave their way through a six-cone obstacle course, which ends with proceeding through a confined space tunnel.

Obstacle #3 consists of moving a Keiser Sled using a sledge hammer. That will be followed by the fourth and fifth challenges: connecting a one and one-half inch fire hose to the pumper truck and one adjoining section of hose with a nozzle; once the hose is charged with water, the firefighter will advance 75 feet and spray a designated area with a knock-down target.

The final obstacle will challenge the firefighter to drag a dummy 100 feet to a Stokes basket, which will then be carried by the entire team to the finish line.

All of those obstacles will be timed, and penalties (in pre-determined seconds) assessed for not completing certain aspects of the different challenges. The team with the fastest overall time will be declared the winner.

“We want this to become an annual event,” Beasley noted. “We may consider in the future having one ‘traveling trophy’ awarded to the winner….that may heighten the competition and the bragging rights.”

There is a $50 registration fee per four-person team and fire departments can enter more than one team if they choose. Those teams are encouraged to come up with unique names, but urged to keep them “professional.”

Full turnout gear and SCBA units are required for each participating team member. Complete information is available on the Woodland VFD Firefighter Competition Facebook page.

Beasley said registration will be accepted in advance (checks payable to Woodland VFD) by mailing the info to the department at PO Box 502, Woodland, NC 27897 or faxed to 252-587-3042. Registration can also be dropped off at the Woodland Town Hall, located on Main Street adjacent to the Grapevine Café, between the hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Registration will also be accepted on the day of the event.

“We want this to be a family oriented event and continue that way. Please come join us with your families on May 14 at Tri-County Airport,” Beasley concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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