“We’re trying to pass it on down the line,” said Robinson, about the strong skills and teamwork needed to succeed in firefighting.
Competitors this year competed in trials that tested coordination, skills, quickness, and teamwork, such as a five-man ladder rescue — a timed event, where the team has to carry a ladder, prop it up, rescue a mannequin from a burning building scenario, then get the mannequin back down the ladder and across the finish line in time — and a “barrel fill,” where two team members must unroll a hose and fill a barrel with water in the best time.
The firefighters do it for a love of competition — there is no monetary reward, just bragging rights and a traveling trophy on which the winning chief’s name is inscribed each year, similar to the Stanley Cup of the Firefighter Olympics.
They also spend time training for the competition, about two or three days a week typically, although the skills needed dovetail nicely with the training for their regular job.
“It all kind of goes hand-in-hand,” said Price after last year’s win. “We have scaffolding set up at out fire department, but their other firefighter training comes into play — putting hoses together, ladders, rescue training.
Price said this year’s team also featured two females, Rachael Robbins and K-Anna Lewandowski. Lewandowski serves on the fire department with husband Michael Lewandowski.
The firefighters already have their sights set on next year’s title.
“Last year I said we were going for that fourth in a row, and we did,” said Price. “The guys already made up their minds, and they want a five-peat.”