DEFIANCE — Firefighters from Huntingdon County gathered at the Six Mile Run Fire Company Friday night to take on one another in contests during an annual firefighter’s convention.

Six Mile Run is hosting the 72nd Huntingdon County Firemen’s Association convention at its station, 1064 Six Mile Run Road.

Caleb Hinish, company president, said the event hadn’t been hosted at the company since 1990.

“A good number of them haven’t been to Six Mile Run since the last (convention),” Hinish said of the crowds in attendance.

The convention started at the beginning of the week with a memorial service. Activities through the week included a Little Princess contest Wednesday and e{span}mergency medical services (EMS) contests on Thursday.

On Friday, firefighters from more than a dozen stations battled each other’s times in a timed contest. Departments needed to rush to get their fire equipment on, connect a fire hose, rescue a manikin hidden in a smoking structure, then make their way through the maze within the structure before using the hose to knock a target down outside.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Don Fields, rescue lieutenant with the Saxton Fire Company.

Fields said the time aspect adds to the challenge of the competition, but said it’s no different when responding to an emergency.

“If we don’t go quick, we won’t make the rig,” he said. “They’ll leave without you.”

Many of the firefighters in attendance complimented the Six Mile Run station.

“It’s gorgeous,” Fields said.

Hinish said an expansion to the station was completed in 2012.

“It’s nice to showcase the new addition,” he said. “But the event is all about having fun. It’s good to get together this one time per year and talk about what’s new.”

While in Bedford County, Six Mile Run and Saxton are part of the Huntingdon County Firemen’s Association through mutual aid.

Hinish thanked the community for its support during the event, which he said has been in planning for the past year.

The festivities will continue today with more firefighter contests in the morning. A convention parade through Defiance will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the association queen’s pageant and awards ceremony. {/span}

Contact Will DeShong at wdeshong@bedfordgazette.com; 623-1151, ext. 150.

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