Firefighters will put their skills to the test in the annual Fourth of July waterball competition beginning at 2:30 p.m. at City Park, 3rd Ave. S and Pine Street, Edmonds.
Volunteer firefighters from Snohomish County Fire District 1 will host the free event that has been a Fourth of July tradition in Edmonds for years. “Many families picnic in the park and cheer on their favorite teams,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical service in the City of Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds.
“Waterball is a little like tug-of-war with water,” Hynes said. “Two teams of three firefighters compete in each round using a fire hose to blast water at a ball suspended on a long overhead cable. The first team to push the ball over to the opposing team’s side wins.”
It takes a combination of teamwork, good communications and hose-line proficiency to win the competition, Hynes said. “Waterball may be just fun and games, but it requires some of the same skills firefighters need to successfully fight a fire.”
Firefighters aren’t the only ones who end up getting drenched as the competition heats up. “After the championship round, we invite the kids to run through the spray and even take a turn on the nozzle with the help of our firefighters,” Hynes said.