Dozens of area police, first responders and Special Olympics supporters braved the cold weather for a good cause Saturday morning as part of the inaugural Brownwood Fire Truck Pull.
The Brownwood Police Department won this year’s fire truck pull with a time of 13.49, besting Shoots and Ladders – a team comprised of area police officers as well as Brownwood and Early firefighters – by a tenth of a second for the victory.
“It was very tough, I think we had someone (in the truck) riding the breaks to mess with the police department,” said BPD Chief Terry Nichols, who personally anchored the team filled with members of the BPD S.W.A.T. Team. “That’s OK, practice makes perfect. We came out here for a great cause and it’s wonderful to support Special Olympics athletes. We hope to do it again and see a lot more folks come out.”
As part of the competition, teams of 12 pulled a 50,000 loaded with water 75 feet with the fastest time determining the winner. The funds raised Saturday went to Area 14 Special Olympics athletes. Brownwood Fire Department Firefighter Bryan Harvey said the event nearly didn’t have a fire truck after maintenance issues prompted the BFD to pull its truck from participating. However, Matthew Williams State Farm gave its support and by lending its 1960s fire truck.
“We had some issues with our trucks and Matt stepped up and let us use his fire truck,” Harvey said. “It turned out well. If Matt wouldn’t have stepped up and let us use his truck, then we would not have had a fire truck pull so it turned out pretty good.”
Saturday also marked the debut of the Janie Clements Industries Special Olympics Team, which took first place in the Special Olympic division with a time of 15.01. There was also an untimed fun pull for area children, as well as silent auctions and a split the pot contest that also raised funds for Special Olympics. As previously reported by The Bulletin, Harvey said he used this year’s truck pull as a test year in order to determine if he would bring it back in 2019, and following Saturday’s event he is sure it will return next year.
“I’m pretty surprised by the turnout. Being the first annual, and a little chilly, it turned out well,” Harvey said. “I’m surprised. This is awesome … The first event is always the hardest. It’s kind of a guinea pig to see what we can do better next year. Oh yeah, this is going to be an annual deal for the Brownwood Fire Department, police department and Special Olympics.