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Firefighters to Fan Competitive Flames in Ventura County

June 18, 2003|Andy Olsen | Times Staff Writer

Nearly 2,000 firefighters will descend on Ventura County next week without a flame to fight or a hose to wrestle.

The weeklong Firefighter's Summer Olympics, which begins with a triathlon Sunday, will feature events across the county to raise an estimated $20,000 for local charities.

Firefighters from around the state will compete in sports ranging from paintball to table tennis in the 32nd annual event, organized by the Ventura County Professional Firefighter's Assn.

This is the second time Ventura County has held the Olympics. It is a rare chance for firefighters to gather for a few days of camaraderie while not assaulting burning buildings or rescuing anyone, said Jack Nosco, executive director of the county association.

"The rest and relaxation from the day-in and day-out stress of this job, and to still be with your peers, is kind of nice," said Nosco, who competes in cycling.

A beach party and Kids Olympics on June 25 are for firefighters and their families only, but all other events are free and the public is invited to attend.

Sunday's triathlon begins at 8 a.m. at San Buenaventura State Beach. The race will include a 1,500-meter ocean swim, a 23-mile bike ride and a 10-kilometer run. Venue times, locations and results are available at http://fire.countyofventura.org/FirefighterOlympics/index.html.

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