Fired up: Kids vie in Merrimack fire muster

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Team members from Mastricola Elementary School assisted a fourth-grade student in suiting up for the Midnight Alarm event, a challenge presented during the fire muster in which contestants don bunker pants, a bunker coat and a plastic helmet to run through a series of cones and return to the finish line, the point where the team helps retrieve the gear so the next contender may suit up and make an equally quick run.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON The team from Reeds Ferry Elementary School, champions of the annual fire muster, and their fire department mentor, Josh Couleb, rear, a Merrimack firefighter and emergency medical technician, take a moment for a photo opp with the event’s prize, a handsome trophy made up of a bronze-toned fire bell mounted on shiny, quilted aluminum, ready for display at the school. The team extended congratulations to all their fellow competitors, students from Merrimack elementary schools – James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, Thorntons Ferry School and Mastricola Elementary School.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Lt. Shawn Brechtel, of the Merrimack Fire and Rescue department, oversees the hydrant operation as students of the fifth-grade team from James Mastricola Upper Elementary School scramble to complete in the Hose Lay, an event that required the speedy hookup of a fire hose to the fire hydrant and a run down the length of the gym to a point where team members were required to hook two hoses together and secure the hose to a nozzle before making a fast return to the starting point.
Photo by LORETTA JACKSON A lavishly frosted chocolate cake, provided by Shaw’s supermarket in Merrimack, was enjoyed by all of the participants, including Mastricola Elementary School Assistant Principal Alisha Hansen-Proulx, right, served here by Lt. Shawn Brechtel, left, whose slice of chocolate cake is photobombed with a big scoop of ice cream before Hansen can escape with a lighter plate at the event, a tradition of some 15 years that is generously sponsored by the firefighters’ union, the Professional Firefighters of Merrimack IAFF Local 2904, an organization that provided scores of colorful T-shirts to the participants and other amenities that made the event memorable.

A speedy contingent of potential firefighters from Merrimack elementary schools undertook yesterday some rigorous challenges at a Fire Muster hosted by the local firefighters’ union at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School. Kudos ultimately went to the winner: Reeds Ferry Elementary School.

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