Firefighters Compete In Annual Games, Remember Porcari
2/10/2013 (Updated 11:05:22 PM)(Source: Jeremy Donovan)
CORTLAND -- Firefighters are used to heading out in the cold weather, but usually, they don't have this much fun.
"There definitely is some rivalry, some competitiveness," said David Quinn, Chief Administrative Officer, Firefighters Association of the State of New York. "But it definitely builds up that spirit of brotherhood."
Three hundred fifty firefighters from 12 different counties were in full gear in Cortland for the annual FASNY Winter Games. For those participating, the event is a nice change of pace.
"Sometimes what we do on the fire ground is not always easy, and sometimes those situations don't turn out to be the best situations that we'd like and this provides a little bit of a release for those folks," Quinn said.
Following the death of Fire Captain Matthew Porcari, for the Owego Fire Department, these events represent a release from a stressful couple of weeks.
"I was hesitant to come up given all that's gone on," said Patrick Gavin, Owego Fire Department. "But our guys really wanted to come up. We had two teams, 13 firefighters up here for Owego. It was a good break for us, blow off some steam. So hopefully today, we can bring home a trophy for Matt."
Porcari was a Firefighters Games staple, especially when it came to hose racing.
"He and I joined the fire department in '95 when we were 16 and one of the first things we did was hose racing," Gavin said. "We've done it ever since. It's sad and tough that he isn't here with us, but he's with us in spirit."
While he may be gone, his legacy lives on. The Central New York Firemen's Association created an annual sportsmanship award in his memory. Porcari's reputation as a fierce competitor didn't stop him from helping out his opponents and making sure everyone had fun.
"I think it really speaks to how we've matured as adults and its not all about winning anymore, it's about enjoying and having fun and being in the company of good folks in the fire service," Gavin said.
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