The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 28, 2009

Let the games begin!

Firefighters do (friendly) battle at competition in GOTL

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Volunteer firefighters generally only meet when battling blazes or responding to tragedies.

They met under happier circumstances Saturday afternoon to do what they love, plus participate in friendly competition.

About 100 firefighters, rescue workers and their families from nine area volunteer fire departments — Geneva, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Plymouth, Sheffield, Mentor, Bloomfield, Lowellville, Madison and Craig Beach — gathered for the second annual Firefighter’s Roundup at the Landing at Geneva-on-the-Lake.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures also drew thousands of tourists, families and teens to the GOTL “strip” by 1 p.m., when the children could begin their events at the Roundup — big boot race, a water ball battle with garden hoses, and a mock burning building.

A fire truck parade arrived at 2:30 p.m., and the games for firefighters started at 3 p.m. Live musical entertainment played at several venues.

Jessi Kerrel, 4, came from Mentor with her family to celebrate her birthday. Her first stop was the Adventure Zone, she said.

She waved at the firefighters as they passed by. Her 5-year-old sister, Megan, waved, too.

“Everyone is having a great time today,” said Brook Hall, event coordinator for the Roundup, Landing Festival Marketplace.

The firefighters’ competition, included a bucket brigade, a tug-of-war and a water ball battle behind the Old Firehouse Winery.

Sheffield took the lead early in the games by garnering first place in the bucket brigade, followed by Plymouth Township, second-place, and Bloomfield, third.

After a short break, the teams reassembled, putting their biggest and strongest in for the tug-of-war contest.

“Come on, you bunch of Clydesdales, PULL!” firefighter Ben Moisio yelled as he dug in his heels and led the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department, Team 2, to win the semi-finals over Geneva-on-the-Lake Fire Department.

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