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FASNY games bring firefighters together to build skill and have some fun

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VIRGIL (WBNG) -- Teams came from near and far to compete in the fifteenth annual Firefighters Association of the State of New York Winter Games.

"There's some here from Western New York and all the way down to Long Island and it's just a good enjoyable time to get together," said FASNY Vice President John Farrell.

Each team dressed exactly as they would be on the job.

"They're in teams of five, they have to be in full turnout gear with the helmet, bunker pants, bunker coat," said organizer Doug Van Etten.

Firefighters had the opportunity for some friendly competition as they played in hose relays, tubing races and obstacle courses.

However, organizers say Saturdays games aren't just about fun.

"The biggest part is teamwork," Van Etten said. "It doesn't matter what part of first response you're looking at you're always functioning as a team."

The event also helped firefighters build the skills they need to keep their communities safe, "Being able to react, being able to play off each other's strengths, being able to pull together in that emergency situation and get the job done," Van Etten said.

Van Etten said first responders really are all on the same team, "Anything we're doing there's a teamwork component because again that's the name of the game."

The games will continue Sunday with a broomball tournament at SUNY Cortland.

Jack Arpey

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