Lee County firefighters will participate in competition

May. 17, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Come this weekend, firefighters from around the county will face different types of pressure and challenge.

Through a series of five trials, firefighters from various county and city departments will compete in the annual Lee County Firefighters Association Competition at 9 a.m. at Central Carolina Community College's Emergency Service Training Center, located at 3000 Airport Road. The all-day event is free to the public and includes children-related competitions.

The five competitions include:

* Firefighter Quick Dress — a competition where firefighters see who can get dressed in their gear in the shortest amount of time.

* Combat Relay — a competition relay involving pulling a hose, spraying it, breaking into a building and climbing several flights of stairs.

* Bucket Brigade — an homage to firefighting of yesteryears, a competition that employs the old-fashioned method of transporting water in a bucket via human chain.

* Hose Lay — a competition to connect the hose and hit a target in the shortest amount of time.

* Barrel Fight — a barrel is hung on a line between two poles and firefighters use their water hoses to spray it between either side under it reaches one side.

"The barrel fight is usually the last event," Lemon Springs Fire Department Chief Reid Cagle said. "Firefighters get wet and it's a lot of fun and a real competition."

Including the CCCC Firefighters Academy, there are nine departments that could participate this weekend and Cagle said he's hoping for at least seven or eight departments.

"We work together very well on emergency scenes," he said. "But it is always good to have that little rivalry amongst the departments. It's good, clean fun."

Sanford Fire Chief Wayne Barber is a judge this year and said there is always a friendly competition between the departments.

"It's a nice break to get everyone together when you are not in an emergency situation," he said. "You get to participate against your fellow firefighters to do different tasks and work under a different sort of pressure."

Cape Fear Rural Fire Department Chief Josh Billings said his firefighters have been practicing for the competition in their down time and they are looking to snag the county's bragging rights.

"It's great for morale," he said. "Showing off what you can do and stuff like that. It gets everyone together for a good time."