Teams from fire halls across Salmon Arm competed in a firefighting relay race that has been a tradition for 18 years.
Officially called a Combined Time Activity, the race took place in the parking lot at Westgate Public Market on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Firefighters from both downtown and uptown Salmon Arm halls competed as well as a team from Canoe and Gleneden.
The race started after a short air horn blast. The timer was started and teams of four to five firefighters raced to don their protective gear, clamber into their truck and weave through a set of cones. Next, the teams would connect a hose to their truck and one firefighter would attach a nozzle to the end of the hose. That same firefighter would then signal the crew back at the truck to start pumping water through the line. After using the blast of water to knock over a cone, the rest of the team would join in and help knock over a second cone to complete the relay.
For two hours, teams went through as many rotations as they could with the goal of beating their previous score with each iteration. Demerits were issued in the form of time penalties for firefighters wearing gear improperly or hitting cones as the truck driver attempted to weave between them.
The evening culminated with an awards ceremony where Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley announced how each hall had placed. Hall 3 from downtown Salmon Arm was able to complete the entire relay in two minutes and 29 seconds with no demerits issued, winning the coveted bronze statue of a firefighter carrying an axe. Firefighters that made up the Hall 3 team were Brian Brook, Brandon Payne, Jason Pufferhill and Mark Koprowsky.
As per tradition, Hall 3 has painted the trophy’s axe head yellow, representing their hall. The yellow has covered up the green paint left by the Gleneden detachment following their win in 2018.