Regional law enforcement groups take part in unique Torch Run event
By Carmen Maroney, Community Resource Manager
Valley State Prison
Organized by the Madera County Probation Department, the second Fire Truck Pull found two state prisons pitching in for a special Law Enforcement Torch Run event alongside a federal prison and county corrections staffers.
Valley State Prison (VSP) staff took home the championship, pulling the 18-ton fire truck over a 40-foot distance the fastest. They also took home the win in 2014.
This year, Central California Women’s Facility also fronted a team. The United States Federal Penitentiary, Atwater, competed as well.
In 2014, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was the largest sponsor, donating over $70,000 to the Special Olympics of Northern California. VSP pitched in $6,000 toward the effort.
The event was held at the Madera Municipal Airport. Other participating teams included the Madera County Probation Department and the Madera County Department of Corrections.
Each eight-person fire truck pull (minimum of one female per team) team had to grab a rope, which had a fully equipped fire truck on the other end.
A starter using an official time clock signaled when to start each pull with the sound of the fire truck horn. After each team pulled the fire truck 40 feet, the whistle was blown, the time stopped and the elapsed time recorded for each team’s score. The team with the fastest time would receive the coveted “Madera County SONC Annual Fire Truck Pull” plaque, with their department’s name and year to be etched in the plaque for display for an entire year, until next year’s fire truck pull.
This year’s event raised well over $1,300 for the Special Olympics of Northern California.