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Firefighter bragging rights up for grabs

Members of the Hagerman Fire Department work on

Members of the Hagerman Fire Department work on their cutting skills on one of fifteen cars that were donated by Gershow Recycling during the LI Fire Rescue and EMS Show at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, February 26, 2011in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Howard Schnapp) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Firefighters in a desperate pursuit to save a life?

Nope, on Saturday local volunteers traded catastrophe for competition.

The annual extrication contest is part of the 14th annual Long Island Fire, Rescue and EMS Mega Show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Islip Town Firefighters Museum and Education Center.

Fourteen local fire departments are timed as they try to safely remove a mannequin from a car involved in a staged crash. The cars were donated by LI-based Gershow Recycling.

“They have a 20-minute time limit to take out the mannequin in the car,” explained Ed Tully, president of the Islip Town Firefighters Museum and Education Center. “They are not allowed to see the scene before they come out, they have no clues beforehand. Each fire department has a six-man team that works together to get the mannequin out.”

Hagerman Fire Department volunteer Carl Fargione is always thrilled to participate in the event. He said he always learns something new, but the competitive nature is never lost on him.

“It’s bragging rights in Long Island to compete in this show and to be considered among the best,” Fargione said. “Since we don’t get a cash prize, it’s all about bragging rights.”

Hagerman is joined in the competition by Amagansett, North Babylon, Blue Point, Great Neck, Locust Valley, Montauk, Nesconset, North Babylon, North Bellmore, Ridge, Seaford, Selden and West Babylon.

The LI Fire, Rescue and EMS Mega Show and the extrication competition will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $13.50. For more information on the show call 631-669-4300, and for more about the Islip Town Firefighters Museum and Education Center, visit www.isliptownfirefightersmuseum.org.

Photo: Members of the Hagerman Fire Department demonstrate their cutting skills during the LI Fire, Rescue and EMS Mega Show on Saturday.

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