Final preparations underway for firefighter drill championships

By Gary Libreatore

(WKTV) - There are only six firematics tracks across the state certified to hold the annual New York State Motorized Drill Championships, and Deerfield has one one of them.

For the fifth time since 1988, Deerfield will host the annual event this weekend.

Competition kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the annual parade taking place Sunday at 1 p.m..

The parade will start at Mulaney Road in Deerfield, proceed down Trenton Road and end at the Deerfield Firehouse on Firehouse Road.

On Friday afternoon, final testing of hoses and track preparations were taking place.

As far as the competition, Deerfield Fire Chief Gary Destefanis says it's an honor for the department to hold this state level event, and he says the Deerfield track is one of the best in the state.

"This all didn't happen overnight," he said. "Over the last 26 years, we built this facility up. And each time we host it, we add to it, so it gets better and better."

Destefanis says each of the 50 competing departments bring between 40 and 50 firefighters and supporters, so he says the event is also great for the Utica area.

Paul Susskind from The Bay Shore, Long Island, Fire Department agrees.

"I think it means a lot for this area because the hotels are full, the restaurants are full and it's going to be a long weekend and we'll have a good time."

There are eight different contests in the competition that put a number of different skills on display, including fire hose control and hydrant coordination, truck handling and ladder speed.

The drills improve firefighter abilities such as speed, safety, communication and encourage team, trust and relationship building -- all things needed in a volunteer fire department to help fight fires and in emergencies.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.

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