Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fight fire with fire

Local blaze battlers to host family day

Express Staff Writer

    Local 4758, the Ketchum professional firefighters union, will host a “Fight To Survive” for Fire Services Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 22.
    The event will include “farmer’s carries,” power lifting, running, throwing heavy objects, scaling walls and other obstacles and events. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    “Definitely not for the faint of heart,” states a recent news release from the union. “This competition pits athletes against extreme obstacles, weights and their own endurance in an awesome display of fitness, guts and sheer willpower.”
    The event will benefit the Higher Ground athletic program for wounded veterans.
    The union invites people to compete for “great prizes and an even greater cause” or simply to support our veterans and cheer on the athletes. Contestants will pay $25 to compete.
    “Either way we all win!” the release states.
    Fire Services Appreciation Day in Ketchum is the largest fire fare in the West, according to the release. The annual community event will feature local firefighters sharing their talents, knowledge and skills in real life demonstrations.
    “[The event will feature demonstrations of] car extrication, rescue drills, free food, live fire, helicopters, fire safety for kids, family health and so much more,” state the local firefighters. “Everything a family could want all packed into one event-filled day.”
    The day was started as a way for the firefighters to have a barbecue with their neighbors while at the same time demonstrating just a few of the many services that they perform. It will also include demonstrations of backcountry rescue, wild land fire-fighting and swift-water rescue.
    New this year will be a Firefighter Skill Drill.
    “[It] has a pretty strong chance of becoming the new crowd favorite …,” the release states. “The crowd will hear the ‘tones’ go out over the loudspeaker, setting in motion a fire crew’s response in an engine, forcible entry through a door, extinguishing a fire, cutting through a roof and ‘rescuing’ a downed firefighter.”
    The release also states that the firefighters have two cars to take apart, too (courtesy of Ketchum Automotive and a “private citizen”).
    “So that could end up being a pretty spectacular show as well,” said Lara McLean, a firefighter lieutenant and medic and the union’s spokeswoman.

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