Firemen outrun the cops in charity game

Kyle Cortez, Reporter

Kern County law enforcement and firefighters competed in the annual Guns ‘N Hoses charity event at Rabobank Arena on Feb. 6.

This is the sixth year that the event has been a hockey game.  There is also a separate Guns ‘N Hoses boxing fundraiser.

Every year law enforcement and firefighters alternate between who chooses the charity and it was the firefighters turn to pick the charity this year.  The firefighters chose the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust and the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation as their charities.

Tickets were $20 for the Guns ‘N Hoses charity event and the tickets also allowed you to attend the Bakersfield Condors game later that night.

The proceeds of the event, which were $3 per ticket sold, went to the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust and the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Kern County Fire Department firefighter Christopher Castaneda commented on some of the important contributions of these charities.

“The Kern County Burn Survivor Trust and the Bakersfield Burn Foundation are two non-profit organizations whose main focus is to help burn survivors and its families during and after rehabilitation.  They help pay for food, hotels by burn centers, and rides to and from hospitals,” said Castaneda. “These are very difficult times in people’s lives and the focus is to alleviate any added stress on the family.”

Kern County Fire Department battalion chief Brandon Smith is one of the organizers of the event and has participated in the last 13 Guns ‘N Hoses events.

“It’s fun and we get to raise a lot of money for different charities,” said Brandon Smith.

Shafter Police Department deputy chief Brian Smith is also an organizer of the event and has also been a part of these events for the past 13 years. Smith felt like the game was within reach.

“We started off slow. The firefighters took the first period.  I think we definitely dominated the second period.  I think the third period was kind of a draw until the end,” said Brian Smith.  “We pulled within one, but then we pulled the goalie and they scored two empty net goals on us.  I feel like it was really a one-goal game, till the very end when we pulled the net.  If we didn’t pull the goalie it probably would’ve finished a one-goal game, but we played a tough game out there.”

The firefighters were looking to defend their title from last year, which they did. The Hoses went on to beat the Guns, 6-3.

Matt Alvarez, a deputy with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and an assistant coach for the Bakersfield College football team, believes that this is a worthwhile event.

“I enjoy the camaraderie with this team and we also have a strong bond when we see each other in the performance of our duties.  It’s also a great way to give back to our community, holding a charity function such as this game,” said Alvarez.