Lindsay musters first state firefighter competition

By Andrea Camarena

They came from up and down California. They came in trailers and campers. They hitched tents and turned Lindsay City Park into campgrounds and speedways.

Members of the California Firemen's Muster Association (CFMA) turned a hot Valley weekend into a festival of antique fire equipment and cooling competition.

Lindsay hosted its first CFMA sponsored Fire Muster on July 9-10.

Teams from Atascadero, Westport, Salinas and farther gathered in Lindsay to compete in races with motorized pumpers, hose carts, hand pumps and motorized hose wagons.

Twenty-eight teams competed bringing in a crowd of roughly 200 people through the weekend.

"It turned out great," Renee Franks, president of the Lindsay Fire Department Auxiliary said. "We got nothing but compliments."

That's the best reaction the Auxiliary could hope for. The muster was their first and the Auxiliary itself is a young organization.

"We're the green team,"Diana Simeral, Auxiliary vice president said.

The Auxiliary was formed in just 2003 by family members of volunteer firemen. The team competed in their first muster in 2004 and the Lindsay Firemen's muster was the team's second competition ever.

This year, Lindsay's team included Amanda Correia, Sierra Davis, DeLea Davis, Bekah Rafanan, Simeral, Franks, Gary Meiling, David Hernandez, Greg Simeral, Jason Cowen, Mike Soares, Tim Franks, Amber Soares and Harl Buckridge.

Both Lindsay's men's and women's teams placed in several events despite their status as newcomers to the CFMA.

In the first event of the muster, the women's motorized pumpers, Lindsay came in second place. They finished just behind Fortuna with a time of 27.45.

In the Motorized pumpers race, team members had to jump out of their seats, onto their antique rig and race along a 300-foot course, attach a hose to a hydrant and the truck and knock over the designated target with the stream of water from the hose.

Lindsay's women's team also took second place in the hose cart race with a time of 44.15 behind Fortuna with a time of 40.88.

The men's team also took second in the vintage hose cart, open division race with a time of 38.95.

The hose cart race requires competitors to drag a large, non-motorized hose cart across the 300-foot course, connect the hose to the hydrant and knock down the designated target with the hose.

Lindsay also had a team in the women's vintage hose cart division. They took third place with a time of 55.54.

In the motorized hose wagon event, competitors are required to drive their rig to a designated location, then proceed to connect the water hose to the fire hydrant, bypassing the engine and spraying down the target as quickly as possible. The Lindsay men's team took finished the open division race in 22.58 seconds for second place. The Tulare

County Company 25 took first place with a speedy time of 14.52 seconds.

The competition also included a bucket brigade, and hand pump races.

The competition finished up Sunday afternoon after two-nights of camping in city park, swimming in the Lindsay public pool, showering in the Lindsay hospital, eating barbeque and watching children's movies on a big

Lindsay's Firemen's Muster, as planned, was more than a competition, it was an event.

The Lindsay Auxiliary has not yet announced plans for another muster.

"We need to take some time off," Simeral said. This year's Muster took an entire year to organize and accomplish. But Lindsay's muster team already has plans to make an appearance at another California muster.

The team will travel to the community of Spreckles just outside of Salinas on Aug. 13-14 for the State Championship.

For more information on the Lindsay Fire Department Auxiliary or their Muster team, contact Renee Franks at 568-2149.

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