WARREN COUNTY – The Norlina Volunteer Fire Department pulled off an upset Saturday, taking the Best All-Around Department trophy among others during the 28th Annual Warren County Firemen’s Day competitions. They dominated the field events and easily beat Longbridge Volunteer Fire Department for the top award, which Longbridge has claimed for the past five years.
Norlina’s team captain, Richard Hilton, said his team came ready to win after a couple of practice sessions and participating in a recent fire competition hosted by a neighboring department.
Gray skies threatened to put a damper on Saturday’s events, which are sponsored each year by the Warren County Firemen’s Association, but the morning apparatus judging and parade in downtown Warrenton saw only a sporadic mist of rain.
Departments participating in the morning activities included: Norlina, Warrenton Rural, Arcola, Drewry, Inez, Afton-Elberon, Macon Rural, Ridgeway, Longbridge, Churchill-Five Forks, Soul City, Littleton, Cokesbury, LaCrosse, Va., Vance County Rescue Squad, Lake Gaston, Warren County Fire Explorer Post 672, N.C. Forest Service and the Plummer Hook & Ladder Company Museum.
Trophies were awarded to each first-place winner for apparatus.
Furthest Traveled: LaCrosse (Va.), 35 miles
Antique: John Zubrod
Brush Truck: LaCrosse
Equipment Truck: Light, Macon Rural; Heavy, Norlina
Tanker: Macon Rural
Pumper: 2011-2007 Warrenton Rural
2001-1997 Macon Rural
1996-1992 Warrenton Rural
Aerial: Warrenton Rural
First Responder: Afton-Elberon
The highlight of the day, field competitions, began at the county fairgrounds in early afternoon with the popular Dressing event, which times how quickly a five-member team can get into their turnout gear. Other events were Rope Tug-of-War, Bucket Brigade, Command Post and Water Tug-of-War. Eight teams participated.
The Rope Tug-of-War was a new event this year. It took a physical toll on competitors and was cause for an oxygen tank to be brought to the field for an overexerted firefighter. Joey Andrews, fire association president and chief at Afton-Elberon, asked participants if they liked this event and was answered with a resounding, “No.”
Trophies were awarded to first-place winners in the field events, and plaques were given to teams wining second and third place. Norlina took three first-place trophies.
Field Event Results
Dressing: Norlina, first place, with 35.39 seconds; Macon Rural, second place; Fire Explorers, third place.
Rope Tug-of-War: Norlina, first place; Fire Explorers, second place Longbridge, third place.
Bucket Brigade: Longbridge, first place with 27.37 seconds; LaCrosse (Va.), second place; Norlina, third place.
Command Post: Norlina, first place; Drewry, second place; Afton-Elberon, third place.
Water Tug-of-War: Fire Explorers, first place; Norlina, second place; Afton-Elberon, second place.
Best in Field Events: Norlina
Best All-Around Department: Norlina
Field Events Sportsmanship: Fire Explorers
Special Field Events Recognition (for coming in last place): Warrenton Rural