The Rawdon Fire Department was hoping to pull off a three-peat at the 2019 Hants County Pumper Duty Races but had to settle for third place after encountering stiff competition.
Windsor firefighters took home bragging rights July 20 after completing the course in 31 seconds. Hantsport Fire Department came second with a best time of 39 seconds, and Rawdon finished one second behind Hantsport for third place.
“It’s nice to bring it home,” said officer Tim Clarke, with the Windsor Fire Department.
Clarke said Windsor’s team began training in earnest in May, completing about 40 pumper duty trial runs before the event.
“It feels wonderful. These guys worked really hard,” said Clarke.
The Windsor squad said they intended to return in 2020 to defend the title.
A total of eight teams competed: Windsor, Rawdon and Beaverbank all entered one team, Hantsport entered two and Brooklyn entered three, one being comprised of all junior members. The junior team finished in fifth place with a best time of 52 seconds — a strong showing for cadets.
Lieut. Robert Andrews, a volunteer firefighter from Bedford, has been a judge for the pumper duty races since they were revived three years ago. He said Windsor’s runs were quite impressive.
“I was very impressed,” said Andrews. “Thirty seconds is usually the time that everybody tries for.”
The event, which took place while much of the province was under a heat warning, showcased basic skills that firefighters draw upon when attending fire calls.
“This is stuff that we practice on a weekly basis — quick fire attack, knock down,” said Andrews.
Each team had the opportunity to do two timed heats, with the best time being counted. The clock would stop once the water barrel, located about 500 feet away, was toppled over by water.
The fun, free event is held in conjunction with the annual Big Rig Show and Shine in Windsor. Andrews said he’d like to see a few more fire stations get involved. There are local trucks available for use for out of town departments that have a policy against bringing vehicles to events outside of their jurisdiction. All they need to supply is the manpower; Windsor, Brooklyn and Hantsport would supply the truck and driver.
“It’s nice camaraderie, teamwork and competitiveness,” said Andrews of the event, adding it’s great for spectators as well as they get to support firefighters.
(Slideshow of photos by Carole Morris-Underhill)