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Rawdon wins Hants County Pumper Duty Races for second consecutive year


WINDSOR, N.S. — Rawdon firefighters once again secured the bragging rights that comes with winning the Hants County Pumper Duty Races.

The crew finished their best of two runs in a time of 37.14 seconds.

“It feels pretty good. I'm pretty stoked. I think everybody did a good job today; I think everybody put in their all,” said firefighter Derek Davis, of the successful Rawdon entry.

“There were some unfortunate mishaps but it turned out to be a great day.”

It was Davis' first time competing in the event and he said the crew trained almost every Sunday for the last couple of months in preparation.

“We were excited to compete and hoping that we wouldn't embarrass ourselves. Turned out we didn't,” said Davis.

The other Rawdon team that competed were the defending champions. During their time trials, they ran into hose issues, Davis said. While they completed the races, they ended up finishing ninth overall.

The second Hants County Pumper Duty Races was held July 21 at the Hants County Exhibition Grounds in conjunction with the Open Road Big Rig Show and Shine. A total of 11 teams competed; three teams from Brooklyn, two teams from Rawdon, two teams from Mount Uniacke, two teams from Hantsport and a team each from Windsor and Wolfville.

Dawson Whitman, son of Mike Whitman and Jaime Lee Chambers, was eager to cheer on the Wolfville Fire Department during the 2018 Hants County Pumper Duty Races on July 21. - Carole Morris-Underhill
Dawson Whitman, son of Mike Whitman and Jaime Lee Chambers, was eager to cheer on the Wolfville Fire Department during the 2018 Hants County Pumper Duty Races on July 21. - Carole Morris-Underhill

Kathy Babcooke, of the Wolfville Volunteer Fire Department, said she was pleasantly surprised when they finished in second place. It was also their first time competing at the pumper duty races.

“It was exciting. It was a lot of fun,” said Babcooke. “These guys were quick with their BAs and getting everything on the tarp quick and they hit the bucket with precision and it all went really well on our second run. They took off 10 seconds.”

And those seconds counted. Their best run was 41.60 seconds. One of the two Hantsport teams finished hot on their heels, placing third with a time of 45.78.

Babcooke said they're definitely planning to come back for the competition in 2019.

“A lot of the time we spend on scenes together and it's stressful. But this is fun. This is an activity we can do together and have a good day,” said Babcooke.

“We're going to try to talk a few other teams from down our way because we're the only ones from Kings County here. Hopefully we can get some more Kings County guys here.”

Fellow firefighter Jamie Cochrane said they're going to be challenging the other departments to give it a try next year.

“From Greenwich to Kingston, from Halls Harbour to Canning — come out,” said Cochrane, smiling. “There is also a show and shine as well. Bring your trucks. The public love to see the trucks and the competition.”

A team each from Brooklyn, Hantsport, Windsor and Mount Uniacke rounded out the Top 7, all finishing within 57 seconds. Rounding out the competition was a Brooklyn team, the defending Rawdon team, another Brooklyn team and Mount Uniacke.

The event is a collaborative effort between Brooklyn, Hantsport and Windsor fire departments.

“We'd really like to thank the people who put the whole event on. It takes a lot of work and a lot of volunteers to do something like this,” said Babcooke.

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