So I was bored on a Friday night, and I saw an ad in the paper for some sort of firefighting competition at a local firehall. I'd previously noticed that this firehall had what appeared to be a drag strip on the premesis, so for the $4 admission fee I went to check it out. Here's what I found:
First of all, the technical term for this is "firematic" racing, and it's a competition between fire departments to see who can perform a bunch of different firefighting tasks the fastest. In many cases, these firefighting tasks require the use of a vehicle. A powerful one at that. Speed is of the essence. However, this being firefighters and all, it also kinda needs to be a firetruck. Thus, the fire departments show up with old fire engines and rescue pickups stuffed with some obscenely large displacement engines (like 500+ C.I.). Oh yeah, and they have a pumper onboard.
These trucks get used for all sorts of odd challenges. My favorite is the ladder event. It's where a bunch of firemen hang on to the back of a truck, with a rolling ladder in tow. The driver floors it for maybe 50 meters, then locks up the brakes. Everybody jumps off the truck while it's still moving, and uses the momentum to raise a ladder onto a platform while a guy climbs the ladder. It's absolutely suicidial.
Here's the Henrietta NY team in action.
Think that's not dangerous enough? Well, that's what's called Class B. Here's a class C "truck" in action (It's a dragster)
The action starts at the 1:00 mark
Seriously, it's like an 1/8 mile drag race, except there's people hanging onto the car so they can jump off and raise a ladder at the end
The ladder event is probably the most exciting truck related event, but by no means is it the only one. There's one where the rasing of the ladder gets replaced by tapping a fire hyradant, then driving a length of hose down the track, where two guys jump off and aim it at a target. Sadly, youtube lacks videos of this, so you'll have to go see it in person.
Oh yeah, and remember how I said those trucks carry a pumper on board?
I wasn't kidding