In honor of its 120th anniversary, the Bellmore Fire Department hosted the 6th Battalion’s annual Old Fashioned Drill and Parade on Aug. 26.
The drill, held at the 4 Towns Training Center Merrick, pit fire departments against one another in ladder drills, hosing challenges and cart-and-ladder races.
The competition gives fire departments a chance to work together, test their skills and, ultimately, have fun.
“It went really well,” said Vincent Scaduto, a spokesperson for the Bellmore Fire Department. “We couldn’t ask for better weather.”
The North Merrick Fire Department, under the moniker the Stump Jumpers, took home first place in the drill. They donned red, white and blue uniforms, with most members also wearing Hawaiian shirts.
The parade took place later that day and honored Grand Marshal Thomas McGovern, a 76-year member of the Bellmore Fire Department. Also a competition, participating departments were judged on the uniformity of their dress and the alignment of their marching formations. Departments were separated in divisions based on their size and the Bellmore Fire Department took home first place in their division.
“People usually only see us when they’re at their worst,” Scaduto said of being a part of a fire department, adding that the parade allowed the community to see fire fighters in a positive environment.
Nassau County is comprised of 9 Battalions and 71 fire departments. The 6th Battalion is the South East of Nassau County, made up of the Bellmore, East Meadow. Levittown, Massapequa, Merrick, North Bellmore, North Massapequa, North Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh Fire Departments.