Blast From The Past: 1977 Firematics Competition


There was a time when most volunteer fire departments in the north country had Firematics teams.

This is how the firefighters honed their skills when they weren't fighting fires.

In this "Blast from the Past" Anne Richter takes us back to a Firematics Drill Competition held in Alexandria Bay during the Jefferson County Volunteer Fireman's Association convention September 5th and 6th, 1977.

The races had names like: The Bucket, Three Man Ladder, Rescue Oscar, Cobweb, Individual Ladder, Long Hose, Motor Hose Replacement, and Long Ladder.

Each team had about a dozen people.They wore racing jerseys, baseball pants, elbow and knee pads, and eventually, helmets.

This was not just fun. It was very competitive.  There were prizes and trophies to be won. 

And, if you're wondering just how fast their trucks would travel, the answer is: anywhere between 30 and 75 miles per hour.

"I remember covering these drills as a young reporter, amazed each time at how brave these firefighters were," said 7 News Anchor and Producer Anne Richter, "Guess that just comes with the territory."

Today, there are only a handful of Firematics teams left in the north country.

But, they still draw a crowd when they compete - Just as they did September 5th and 6th, 1977.


Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

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