York firefighters put skills to the test at fire muster

YORK, Maine — A tradition almost a century-old will continue this Saturday as the York Beach Fire Department holds its annual Field Day parade and firefighter muster.

A line of fire engines will turn down Long Beach Avenue and ride down to Nubble Road, blaring their sirens and flashing their lights for youngsters lined along the beachside parade route. Firefighters from different departments will then show their skills in a series of games while families enjoy grilled burgers and hot dogs.

“It’s a fun time,” said York firefighter Jack Cooper, who brought his 3-year-old son to last year’s parade.

This year marks the return of bouncy houses, carnival games and an obstacle course, which were excluded in 2021 when firefighters brought back a smaller version of the event following COVID-19. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The parade, which starts at 11 am, has a different route this year, now starting at York High School on Robert Stevens Drive, turning right onto Webber Road, then left onto Long Beach Avenue. It then goes onto Nubble Road, continuing onto Broadway, right onto Willow Avenue, left onto Ocean Avenue, left onto Railroad Avenue and ending at the York Beach fire station.

The York Beach Fire Department's annual Field Day returns Saturday with a parade, firefighter muster, a bouncy house and other children's games.

The muster and field events start at 12 pm and take place next to the fire station. They will include a dry hose contest in which six-man teams must assemble a hose and connect it to a hydrant, then run to a finish line. The wet hose event has the same test of assembly, but then requires the firefighters to fire the hose at a target. A mystery event will have firefighters compete in a surprise challenge, which Welch said can involve rearranging mixed-up fire gear or correctly assembling a hose that is incorrectly connected. The firefighters’ work is examined by evaluators, who award first and second place trophies.

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