The 2021 New York State Drill Team Racing Championship speeds through Amherst

Local News

AMHERST, N.Y (WIVB) — Hundreds of volunteer firefighters from all around New York State are competing for bragging rights and first place at The 2021 New York State Drill Team Racing Championship this weekend.

Thirty-two teams climb, race, and speed through eight drills. Coach of the Main and Transit “Slo-Pokes,” Jim Lawida says this event is a big part of their recruiting process, and they are always searching for new volunteers.

While the stunts may shock you, Lawida says it helps the brave men and women at the fire department every day.

“All the stuff that we’re doing are things that help them work together better on the fire ground,” said Lawida. “Hoses, ladders, nozzles… just the camaraderie and knowing each other and how to do things quickly absolutely relates to what happens when the radio goes off.”

Some of the firefighters in the race have been competing against each other for decades.

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