PALM COAST, Fla. (September 20, 2022) – “We’re doing a fire truck pull because the Sheriff’s Office is going to beat the fire departments if they don’t cheat this time,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly, throwing down the gauntlet.
“We’re here to make sure the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office stays in their place,” said Flagler County Fire Chief Mike Tucker with a feisty grin standing steps from the pink fire truck symbolic of the unified fight against breast cancer among the area’s first responders.
Taking part in the official kick off activities on Tuesday in support of breast cancer awareness month coming up in October, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department gathered for the second year to see which team is brawny and brisk when it comes to speed and strength.
The good-natured ribbing between the agencies is a fun bonding opportunity for the colleagues who most often can be found working in tandem responding to emergency situations.
“Obviously everybody likes the cause, to bring awareness to breast cancer and it’s important to all of us,” said Chief Tucker.
“The ability to challenge each other, talk a little bit of smack and have some fun… Most of the time when our crews work with each other, they’re in a little bit of a hurry and don’t have time, so this is a good opportunity.”
“It’s serious when they’re out on calls,” added Staly, back to the business at hand.
“But this time we got to make sure they let their foot off the brake on time” he teased. “That’s the rumor out there.”
“It’s a lot of fun and it’s for a good cause,” said Staly. “The antagonistic messages back and forth are all part of the fun.”
As the defending champions, Palm Coast Battalion Chief James Neuenfeldt kept the banter to a minimum with the loss of their team’s strongman for the 2022 competition
“We’re here to beat the cops and Flagler County in pullin’ the fire truck. It is true he (the anchor) is out of commission but that’s ok, we’ve got other folks to step up and take up the challenge. It’s a lot of mental exercises,” he said jokingly before getting serious.
“Everybody supports breast cancer awareness, (and) this is amazing. We work well with law enforcement, we train together very well. Working with the county is seamless. It’s just exciting to come out, have some camaraderie and some teamwork together,” shared Neuenfeldt.
Hosted by the City of Palm Coast, the truck pull was last year’s most popular Food Truck Tuesday event and this year’s turnout was even larger as the public came to cheer on their favorite teams.
The day launches more than a month of fundraising activities across Flagler County to support breast cancer screenings and diagnostic services for patients across the community unable to afford the vital services.
Sharing information about the events including the upcoming Pink On Parade 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk set for October 9th, Pam Bolter and the AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation team helped get the word out and join in the festivities.
“Last year there were a few hundred people here for the pull and were hoping for at least that many this year,” noted Bolter, who said all proceeds go back to helping provide breast cancer services in Flagler County through the AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation.
“We have our upcoming walk and again, all money raised there stays in Flagler County, where we help save lives by providing free mammograms, screenings and diagnostic testing to qualified individuals. (Patients are) usually qualified through the Flagler County Free Clinic and all the procedures are done for them for free here in Flagler County, at AdventHealth,” she said.
“Our Pink On Parade is such a success every year because of our partnership with the City of Palm Coast. We couldn’t do it without their support.”
At 6:00 p.m. Palm Coast Parks and Recreation supervisor Jared Dawson flipped on the microphone and displayed the belt, revving up the crowd who eagerly snapped photos and videos.
Getting down to business, the Flagler County Fire Rescue team proved to be quickest on their feet, taking just 6.69 seconds to pull the truck the full distance, dethroning the city and earning bragging rights this season.
For more information on the events visit www.pinkonparade.com/palmcoast.