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Fire Department Hosts Drill Tourney

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.

Community members came out to watch the fire departments participate in the different events. In the bucket brigade event, for example, the drill team runs down the street with hoses that they have to attach to a nozzle while water is running through the line. “A lot of times you don’t get the nozzle on and the water shoots all over people, and that’s what the people come to see,” said Nassau County Parade Official Bill Hickey.

Between Nassau and Suffolk County, there are drill team tournaments held almost every weekend, commented former Captain of the Hicksville Fire Department Rich MaGee.

“The drill team practices often,” he said. “They practice three or four times a week.”

Later in the day, 48 fire departments from Nassau County marched in the parade. The Nassau County parade is an annual event and a different fire department hosts it each year. This year, Hicksville hosted the parade which included 100 participants from the Hicksville Fire Department.

Active firemen, junior firefighters, ladies auxiliary, and members of the band all walked in the parade that went through Hicksville. The parade was over a mile long and began on Division Ave. and Tenth St. and ended on West Barclay St.

Parade officials judged each department for different categories, including department size, walking in step, walking in line, and wearing the correct uniforms.

“There are points that departments lose for being against the rules,” said Hickey. “My job is to make sure the chief from every department salutes the reviewing stand. If he doesn’t, I give him five demerits.”

Awards were given out based on the size of the departments. After the parade, the reviewing stand announced the awards and there was a post-parade celebration.

An old-fashioned drill was also held on Friday, July 11 in Hicksville. In this type of competition, there are no trucks or cars involved. There were six departments that participated.

Hosting the Nassau County motorized drill and parade takes a lot of hard work. “We started to prepare for this around March,” said MaGee. “You have to get permission from the town, close the roads off, and send out applications to see who is coming.”

In the past, Hicksville would hold a Labor Day parade every year, which is why they have the proper facilities to hold a parade and motorized drill. “A lot of departments can’t do this,” said MaGee. “They don’t have the facilities. It’s easier for us.”