Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 4:17:53 AM

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Running, Climbing and Hosing at the Strawberry Fest

Firefighters typically are  fighting hard to keep their communities safe, but hundreds in Owego had the chance to watch them hone their skills in a much different way at the annual Strawberry Festival. Our Vince Briga was there for all the action.

Hydrants, fire hoses, and
ladders--Patrick Gavin has been using the equipment for nearly 20 years. And just like every year, Gavin showed off  his skills in Owego's annual Ed Franz Memorial Hose Race.

"It's part of my family's fabric. My dad had done this for 30 plus years. Both my brothers do it with me. So it's kind of a family thing for the Gavin's," said Patrick Gavin, Owego Firefighter.

There were many different  obstacles today, with the first one including firemen racing with a ladder, climbing to the top of a structure, and spraying down a target with a hose.

"All the races are timed, so you're trying to do it the quickest time possible. If we can do it here on the street that fast, we can do it that fast at a fire," said Patrick Gavin.

3 different stages of the course tested real-life scenarios for the firemen. And while the 10 teams of were racing the clock, it was all in honor of former Owego Fire Chief, Ed Franz.

"They said in his obituary that if you don't know who he was, you're not from Owego. Whenever the fire whistle blew at 3, Ed Franz was in that truck going to help somebody and that's who the man was," said Patrick Gavin.

Typically firefighters are working to saves lives in the community, and Gavin says it's nice to hone his skills in a more positive setting.

"It's a good boost. It makes an old guy like me get down the street a little bit quicker," said Patrick Gavin.

Gavin says this is the perfect opportunity to thank Ed Franz for the hard work he did to pave the way for future Owego Firefighters.



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