Submitted by the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company
The Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company Cadets took the top prize, Best Overall Performance, in the Explorer & Junior Fire Fighter Muster & Challenge, held at the Connecticut Fire Academy.
With a total time of 10 minutes, 9 seconds for the seven stations at the competition, the team won out over eight other cadet teams from around the state. Competing this year were Cadets Tyler Bailey, Austin Bowe, Jordan Briggs, Owen Cummings, Patrick Driscoll, Alex George, Ryan Jano, Levi Lilly, Sean McCusker and P. J. Sullivan. Team member Austin Bowe was the team captain.
Best times in Bucket Brigade, High Rise Standpipe Operation, Roll, Pump and Squirt, Mid-Night Alarm, Hose/Maze Crawl and Re-Packing a Hose Bed, and second in Stretcher Relay gave the team the low total time needed to win the competition, which consisted of seven stations.
For Stretcher Relay, Tyler Bailey, Jordan Briggs, Alex George, Ryan Jano, Levi Lilly and Sean McCusker had to move a patient in a stokes basket (a specialized stretcher for rescues) over an obstacle course simulating real-life situations. Obstacles included windows, ladder bridges and tunnels. The team had to move the basket with the safety of the patient in mind. The team took second place with a time of 2 minutes, 15 seconds.
For Hose/Maze Crawl, Austin Bowe, Ryan Jano and Levi Lilly had their vision obstructed and were placed on a charged hose line. Firefighters are taught that by feeling the coupling they can determine the direction to follow the hose out of danger. While blindfolded, the lead team member had to determine the correct direction to follow the hose line to safety, navigating several obstacles along the way. The team had the best time at this station with a time of 2 minutes, 2 seconds.
Jordan Briggs, Owen Cummings, Patrick Driscoll and P. J. Sullivan had to repack 200' of large diameter hose onto a simulated fire truck neatly, ready to use at the Re-packing a Hose Bed station. The team had the best time at this station with a time of 1 minute, 19 seconds.
For High Rise Standpipe Operations, Austin Bowe, Owen Cummings, Patrick Driscoll, Ryan Jano and P. J. Sullivan connected a water supply to a multi-story building to supply water to an upper story. Then they had to take a fire hose and squirt water out of an assigned window of that building. The team had the best time at this station with a time of 1 minute, 17 seconds.
At Roll, Pump and Squirt, a three-member team of Austin Bowe, Jordan Briggs and Ryan Jano had to perform three tasks. First, neatly roll a 50' length of hose. Then put on an Indian Pump (a portable water can that is carried on the back), and two members of the team advanced 40' and knocked down three targets with water from the Pump. Finally they left the Indian Pump and all three members advanced a charged hose line 75' and knocked down a target with water from the hose line. The team had the best time at this station with a time of 1 minute, 14 seconds.
Team members Austin Bowe, Patrick Driscoll, Alex George and Levi Lilly simulated responding from bed in the middle of the night. Mid-Night Alarm required the team to put on their fire gear, respond to the fire apparatus, and be seat-belted in the fire apparatus ready to respond. The team had the best time at this station with a time of 1 minute, 4 seconds.
Tyler Bailey, Owen Cummings, Patrick Driscoll, Alex George, Sean McCusker and P. J. Sullivan had the best time, 55 seconds, at Bucket Brigade by filling a barrel from a water source using a bucket relay.
Cadet teams represented Avon, Coventry, Ellington (two teams), Farmington, Hartford, North Branford and Thomaston.
The competition was sponsored by the Connecticut Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America in East Hartford.
The Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company is accepting applications for cadets. Applicants must be 15 years of age. They meet weekly on Monday nights. Anyone interested may pick up an application at Simsbury's Main Station, 871 Hopmeadow Street.