Alameda Firefighters Team Up to Win Gold Medal

California Firefighter Athletic Association  Members of the Alameda Fire Department beat members of the Southern Marin Fire Department 19-15 to win a gold medal at the California Firefighter Olympics.

Alameda Firefighters Team Up to Win Gold Medal

 

Members of the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) won a gold medal for softball at the California Firefighters Olympics (CFO) last Thursday, July 21.

They went a perfect 7-0 in three days of competition on the way to their gold medal. AFD took down firefighters from the Southern Marin Fire Department 19-15 in the gold-medal game at the Twin Creek Sports Complex in Sunnyvale.

There are 15 players on AFD’s softball team. AFD outplayed 12 other teams to win the gold medal. This is the first gold medal in softball for AFD at the CFO in 30 years. AFD won the gold medal in 1986, but they have medaled in previous competitions. AFD competes in the CFO every year. 

What makes the accomplishment more extraordinary is that AFD’s softball team does not hold any practices, according to firefighter Brandon Baley. 

“We do play in about five or six charity softball events a year,” said Baley, who has been with AFD since 2011. 

Despite not practicing, AFD was still able to average about 20 runs a game over its seven games, according to Baley who played first base for the gold-medal team. 

The CFO began in 1970 as an opportunity for all California firefighters to get together in friendly competitions that promote physical fitness and provide an informal forum for exchanging ideas. 

“Our team is based on comradery,” said Baley. “The event has a family aspect to it. Families come out and support us. This is a family-based event. There is also a lot of networking with other firefighters and organizations.” 

The games are governed by the California Firemen’s Athletic Association, with a local association bidding to be the host and bring the games to their community. This year the Fremont Fire Department hosted the CFO. 

More than 500 participants registered to compete in the CFO. To participate each player must be a paid professional firefighter. Firefighters competed in 20 events at the CFO such as basketball, soccer, beer pong and much more. Some sports, including softball, had more than one competition division. AFD won a gold medal in one of five softball divisions. Divisions were based on size of the team, age of the participants and there were a few competitions that had a co-ed division.

The locations of the events at the CFO were spread throughout Northern California, from Fremont all the way to Santa Cruz. The horseshoe event was played at the Golden Eagle Horseshoe Club in San Jose. The surfing competition was played at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. The basketball tournament was played at the Milpitas High School gym. The competition of Over the Line took place at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos. Other events were played at the host hotel, Double Tree in Fremont, and at the Twin Creek Sports Complex, among other places. 

The event’s location rotates between a Northern California location and a Southern California location. Next year’s event will be in Southern California, but the exact location or which department will host is yet to be determined.

To learn more about the CFO, visit www.firefighterolympics.org/index.cfm?Section=1.