for Festival Days contest
By Jim Schroeder
The Havre community will get a chance to practice for the upcoming Havre Fire Department's hose-coupling contest.
The hose-coupling contest practice session is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Pepin Park.
The Havre Fire Department is challenging Havre residents and businesses to the hose-coupling contest on Saturday as part of Havre Festival Days. The contest is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Third Avenue in front of the Atrium Mall.
The hose-coupling contest is a timed event that consists of a four-person team attaching three lengths of 2.5-inch fire hose to a water supply and then knocking over one of two targets before changing out the center section of the hose and knocking over a second target.
All four team members begin at a starting line. When the starter gives the signal, one team member goes to the hydrant and connects the first hose to it. The second member runs to the first coupling and connects the hoses while the third member runs to the second coupling and connects that hose. The fourth member runs to the end of the hose line and connects the nozzle.
When all of the connections are made, the hydrant person charges the line with water and the nozzle person directs the stream of water at the first target. After the first target has been knocked over, the hydrant person shuts off the water and the second and third team members replace the center section of hose at the same time the nozzle person replaces the nozzle with a second nozzle. When all connections are made, the hydrant person turns on the water and knocks down the second target.
The hose coupling event is normally done in under a minute.
"It's fun, especially if you're not wet," Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said. "But be prepared to get wet."
In July, the Havre Fire Department won the state championship in Missoula after competing against eight other fire departments at the state's annual International Association of Firefighters Convention.
There will be three members of the department's hose-coupling team competing at the contest on Saturday. The hose-coupling team members are Havre fire Capt. Mike Anderson and firefighters Bob Bergren and Al Forsman.
To enter the contest, a team needs four members and must be willing to get a little wet besides signing a medical release form.
Winners of the event will receive bragging rights besides a plaque or trophy, Sheppard said.
The two targets Saturday will be Sheppard and Mayor Bob Rice.