Berkshire Money Management Donates to Firefighter Challenge

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DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management has donated $25,000 to bring the 3M Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge back to the Berkshires
Berkshire Money Management along with the Pittsfield Fire Department will present the 3M Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, which will be held at Berkshire Crossing in Pittsfield, September 16-18, 2021.
The full competition course, as seen on ESPN for more than a decade and now televised on and ESPN3, will be set up at Berkshire Crossing, 555 Hubbard Ave. 
There will be food trucks, fire safety demos, and Eversource will have a demonstration as well.
There will be firefighters from across the state and country, and firefighters from Canada and across the globe. Retired firefighters are also welcome to compete.
"The pandemic had nearly eliminated this event worldwide, which is basically the recognition ceremony and the showcase for what firefighters do every day. And they did it during the pandemic, and they will continue to do it whether or not there is a Combat Challenge. However, that kind of public recognition, and comradery building is absolutely essential to keep growing the awareness and appreciation for firefighters and first responders whose role has changed dramatically in the last 10 years," said BMM CEO Allen Harris. "They're no longer 'just fighting fires.' They're mental health workers, wellness check-in folks, community liaisons, grief counselors. They're everything. BMM didn't want the event to lose steam, especially now. We want the Berkshires to be a fond stop for our local community as well as for firefighters from around the world."
The challenge annually attracts hundreds of U.S. and Canadian municipal fire departments at more than 25 locations and is now expanding to countries around the world, including New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Dubai, Slovenia, France and South Africa. The challenge seeks to encourage firefighter fitness and demonstrate the profession's rigors to the public.
Wearing "full bunker gear" and the SCOTT Air-Pak breathing apparatus, competitors race head-to-head as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks, including climbing the five-story tower carrying a 45-lb hose pack, hoisting a 42-lb hose pack five stories up, chopping a 160-lb I-beam to move it 5 feet, dragging charged hoses and dragging a life-sized, 175-lb "victim" 100 feet as they race against themselves, their opponents and the clock. 
Berkshire Money Management has already put together a competitive team and training for the event has begun with our friends at Community Fitness Pittsfield (CFPitt) on East Street.
"Let's admit it, nothing is ever going to be enough to thank these brave people for protecting us. Before the pandemic we were able to help bring the Firefighter's Combat Challenge to the Berkshires for the first time ever in 2019," says Harris. "The firefighters were so happy and thankful that we knew we had to step up to fully present the event this year. We wanted to unite the tribe in our backyard."
More information about the course, registration and rules Is a is available here. For information about the Pittsfield event, contact Dan Garner at dgarner@cityofpittsfield, call 413-448-9754 or visit the event page.
Individual races will be held Friday, Sept. 17, beginning at 5 p.m. The tandem and relay races will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, starting at 10:30 a.m.

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New Smoke Alarm PSAs Geared Toward Older Adults

STOW, Mass. —Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign that encourages smoke alarm awareness among older adults, who are at greater risk of dying in a fire. 
The PSAs are available for distribution through the Department of Fire Services.
The "Dear Grandma / Querida Abuela" campaign started this month on television and radio stations in the Boston, Worcester, and Springfield media markets. Recorded in both English and Spanish, it features a granddaughter writing a letter to her grandmother about all the things she looks forward to doing together, interspersed with messages about the importance of having working smoke alarms and replacing alarms after 10 years.
"In Massachusetts and nationwide, people over 65 have a disproportionately high risk of dying in a fire," said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. "Everyone should have working smoke alarms in their homes, but we developed this PSA to reach older adults in particular because of the higher statistical risk they face. Installing smoke alarms on every floor of the home, checking them regularly, and replacing them after 10 years can dramatically reduce that risk."
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