Since 1970, my family has been a part of the Blue Point Fire Department Junior Drill Team. We are called the Mighty Midgets.
It started with my Uncle Tom, Uncle John and my dad. They competed in the 1970s and early '80s. It has become a family tradition involving their kids, my sister and me.
I find racing on the team is exciting and a lot of fun, especially the tournaments.
In the tournaments, which take place every Sunday, we compete against other fire departments with names such as the Wolves, Gamblers, Redskins and Flying Dutchmen. There are several events in which the five fastest teams will receive points.
At the end of a tournament, the five teams with the most points get trophies. There are ladder events, cart events and running events. Ladder events consist of junior, intermediate and senior competitions.
There also is an event known as cart ladder. The cart and running events are timed events in which a team races down the track to hit a target with water. The cart and running events are similar, but running events don't use a cart to run down the track.
Each cart and running event includes "hose hoppers," a hydrant man, a breaker, a nozzle man and pullers. The hose hopper's function is to maintain control of the hose. The hydrant man hooks the hose up to the hydrant, and when the nozzle man and breaker yell "water," the hydrant man hits the lever attached to the hydrant and water comes speeding down the track.
The puller's job is to pull the cart down the track as fast as possible. When the hose comes out of the cart, the breaker has to break the coupling in time for the nozzle man (that's me) to get the nozzle on the coupling and shoot at the target. Each position requires skill and contributes to the success of the entire team.
Members of the team are ages 8 to 17, and anyone can join, including people with disabilities. This sport has taught me not only firefighting skills but the importance of teamwork. This is a fun and exciting sport for everyone.
Book review: 'Freakling'
I liked the book "Freakling," by Lana Krumwiede (Candlewick Books). It had a very good plotline and twists. The premise is a boy named Taemon, who lives in a future society in which people have the ability to move objects with their minds. Taemon has another ability which his father tells him not to use. After a traumatic event renders him unable to move objects, he must find a way to hide it, or he'll be sent to the powerless colonies.
I recommend this book to 11- to 15-year-olds.
RATING: 31/2 out of 5
--Kidsday Reporter Timothy Treco
CLASS OF THE WEEK: Marie Amella-Pesko's eighth-grade English class, SAYVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL