www.zenfolio.com/johnsonpublications Samantha Goff | Johnson Publications
The Madrid Volunteer Fire Department got together on Monday, Oct. 16 for their first official practice for the upcoming dodgeball tournament this Saturday. They will compete against other area departments in full bunker gear, including their oxygen tanks. The tournament will be held at the old Wheatland High School in Madrid on Saturday Oct. 21 at 10 a.m.

Dodgeball tournament to bring area firefighters together for good cause

Most of the time, when area fire departments come together, the circumstances aren’t the best. 

This weekend, the Firefighter Dodgeball Tournament will be the exception. 

Hosted by the Madrid Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD), the dodgeball tournament will give area firefighters a chance to meet and work with each other in a much more lighthearted scenario. 

MVFD Fire Chief Mike Lee said the best outcome for this event would be that everyone just really enjoys themselves.  He said his department reached out to the majority of Southwest Nebraska.  

The four confirmed teams competing in the tournament on Saturday, Oct. 21 are Madrid, Grant, Venango and Imperial. According to Lee, they are expecting several other area firemen from Wallace, Paxton, Ogallala and more to come individually to fill in and create mixed teams.

Teams of six firefighters will compete against each other in a traditional game of dodgeball. They will do this while in full bunker gear, including their oxygen tank. 

“It’s a great training tool. They really have to learn to control their breathing so they don’t use up that oxygen tank,” Lee said, “and it’s all in fun.” 

Should a team member use up their air supply, part of the “sudden death” challenge will be for the team to change out the tank and get it connected before the other team can tag them with a ball. 

Lee said he hopes that in hosting the event this year, it may ignite a new tradition and maybe another department in another area will host a similar event and get new people involved in the future. 

“We also think this could be a great tool for recruiting. Yes we work hard, and we train hard. But this can really be fun, too!” said Stacy Lee, the fire captain and training officer of MVFD.

The public is encouraged to attend to cheer on their local firefighters, and admission fees collected will be evenly donated amongst the competing departments.

The tournament will be in the gym of the old Wheatland High School in Madrid this Saturday morning, registration is at 9 am., and games beginning at 10 a.m.

Admission is $5 per person with children ages 3 and under free of charge. There will be a few food vendors present as well.

All competing department teams will get a portion of the proceeds, however, there are trophies for the top three teams. 

“I think it’s going to be really exciting, there are a lot of people really looking forward to it,” Lee said. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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