Firefighters set to display skills

By: 
Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor

 

Firefighters from across the state will be flocking to Newcastle for the 88th Wyoming State Fireman’s Association Convention and Competition at the Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held June 16-20.

According to volunteer firefighter and team nozzle person (except for one contest) Robert Munger, the event will bring over 100 fire association people to the area for a weekend of meetings and competitions. 

Teams from Afton, Lander, Riverton, Wheatland, Lingle, Torrington and, of course, Newcastle will compete in five different events designed to test the skills needed on a fire scene. 

Beginning Thursday morning at 11 a.m., spectators are invited to stop by the fire station to watch eight different teams compete in the replace and Y (Wye) contests. 

“The replace contests simulates blowing a hose on the scene, fixing it and getting back to fighting fire,” Munger said.

Each team of five, he said, will come down the track, lay out 150 feet of hose before connecting to a hydrant and hitting the target. Once that portion is complete, the team simulates the center hose blowing and must then clamp the hose, connect another portion and shoot a second target. 

“This can be done, if things go well, in 27 to 28 seconds. The state record is right about 25 seconds,” Munger said. 

“The second event on Thursday is the Y (Wye), and it is the same type of deal. we come down the field, lay out 150 feet of hose, break a section and put a Y in. This takes the hose from one to two and we connect two nozzles and shoot two targets,” he explained. “Each event has five team members to carry out the task and each event is timed.” 

Friday at noon the teams will again hit the track and compete in the double male/double female contest. This event involves using double pieces of equipment to attach the hoses, a reverse lay and three different targets. Rounding out the events on Saturday are the chop and wet test contests, beginning at 11 a.m. 

“The first event is a cellar or chop contest. In this, we are looking at a house with a cellar fire that may not have access. We lay down 150 feet of hose and have a guy with an ax. He jumps off, cuts a hole in the plywood and we attach a nozzle before stuffing the hose into the hole,” Munger said. “The time stops when the water starts flowing.” 

Following the chop contest, he said, the competitors will take on the wet test, also known as the ladder. In this contest, two of the team members must climb a 26-foot-tall ladder and shoot a target after the team lays out 150 feet of hose. 

After the completion of the final events on Saturday, first-, second- and third-place awards in each event will be given out during the banquet. A cumulative winner for each of the three places will also be announced. 

According to Munger, Newcastle’s firefighters have fared well in the past, bringing home several trophies. 

“We have been pretty blessed with our teams and the ability we have to compete at a high level,” Munger said. “These competitions take up a lot of time with practice on top of the other training and work we do through the department.” 

The department hopes to see the community come out and support not only the local firefighters but also those from across the state.

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