Firefighters go head-to-head

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Members of Victoria Fire & Rescue and the Kenbridge Volunteer Fire Department came out in full swing during the 62nd annual Southside Virginia Volunteer Firefighter Association (SVVFA) convention and competition Saturday afternoon.

Starting with a parade through the Town of Keysville and heading to Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) to take part in the games, Victoria and Kenbridge took part in several events related to the convention.

Michael Gee, with the Kenbridge Volunteer Fire Department, stood with the department truck, standing out due to its yellow frame.

“We come every year,” Gee said regarding Kenbridge. “(It’s) very exciting.”

He said members come to compete and enjoy camaraderie with other volunteer fire department members.

Decked out in tie-dye

T-shirts, members of the Victoria Fire & Rescue were eager to take on the challenges, which reenact often dangerous situations that firefighters face daily.

Some of the challenges include the two-man rit, which involves two firefighters running in full gear 50 feet to reach a 150-pound dummy. The firefighters then drag the dummy to the starting point, grab a hose, then run across the field with the hose together to the starting line and the one-man hose challenge, where contestants removed two ends of a hose and attach the hose to a nozzle in the quickest time.

Victoria Fire & Rescue member Dustin Foley acted as a judge during the competition and Victoria Fire & Rescue Chief and Town Manager Rodney Newton was the event announcer, calling participants to the field during each challenge. He said he has announced during the event in years past.

SVVFA President Lynn Duffey said he was happy with the turnout of both the parade and the games.

“The day as a whole went wonderful,” Duffey said. “The event was wonderful. The weather cooperated very nicely with you, and everybody had a good day.”

“The (SVVFA) covers 19 counties,” Duffey said. “It unites us all once a year so we can come together and hold an event … Everything went very smoothly.”

He said the South Hill Volunteer Fire Department was the overall winner of the competition.