American firefighters in Szczecin


One of the many summer events here in Szczecin along the river included an international firefighter  competition . There were several Polish teams , teams from towns in Germany , a team from Slovenia , from Lithuania , and who-knows -where else .

I was surprised to see on the schedule an American team . There was J.J. Gonzales from Austin , Texas , competing at 14:30 . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 038

I thought at first  that Gonzalez might be the only one on the team . Then I saw a group of chairs with the Stars and Stripes arranged under a canopy . Yeah , a group . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 020

So I thought that I might be in luck . As it turned out , there were four Americans on the team : one woman and two men from Austin , Texas , and one guy  from an Air Force base in Germany . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 028


They all went through a series of tasks , racing against another team . The Americans beat  German teams while I was there . The event lasted two days . I don’t know which teams won overall .


It was a hot day . Very hot . I told the Texans that at least they came from a hot climate . These other teams were not used to these hot ( 90-95 F. ) conditions .

I asked Gonzales if this was fun for him . He shook his head slowly back and forth . ” I should have trained , ” he said after his bit in the competition . He’s over 40 and was competing against guys in their twenties .

I told him I’d look forward to him competing next year . I don’t talk to many Americans in Szczecin and it was nice to meet these fellow countrymen ( and woman ).  The event happens here every year , sponsored by the Szczecin Fire Department . He said he’s like to come back .

” See you ! ,” I said . Same place same time . You never know . You never know .

1 Comment

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One response to “American firefighters in Szczecin

  1. I am always amazed that they can even move around in that gear.

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