Guns and Hoses event plays for charity

Two law enforcement hockey players chase down the puck under the possession of a firefighter.

Alexandra Apatiga, Reporter

Kern County Firefighters and Law Enforcement battled it out on the ice at Rabobank Arena for the 19th Annual Guns & Hoses Game over Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25, all in the name of fundraising for charity.

The yearly match-up which has both sides swap for their choice of charity each year, had the Fire Department supporting local burn survivors in Bakersfield this year through the Kern County Burn Survivors Trust, the Bakersfield Burn Foundations and the Kern Heavy Rescue.

Around 1,000 people attended the charity game where law enforcement beat the firefighters 4-3 after a tied game ended with a shootout in law enforcement’s favor. Despite the Firefighter’s loss during the game, all proceeds raised would go towards their choice of charity.

Among those who attended the game was Kenneth Putnam, a former Kern County firefighter, volunteer at Memorial Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center, and burn survivor. A local resident since 1952, Putnam retired in 2004 after nearly 27 years of service and becoming a burn survivor in 1997. Putnam has been attending the last seven Guns & Hoses charity games to support the local firefighters, law enforcement and the community.

“These sort of games are all for fun,” said Putnam, “and while tempers do rise occasionally we’re all here for the same reason, to support and raise funds for whatever charity is being sponsored that year.”

According to Putnam, this year’s charity fundraiser would be going towards expanding available resources for burn survivors, such as financial support, transportation, support groups, counseling, and rehabilitation.

“The subject of what burn survivors have to deal with, physically and emotionally, isn’t really touched upon when it should be,” said Putnam.

“I’m so grateful for the support and awareness the Gun & Hoses will be giving us, and for the community for coming out to support us as well,” said Putnam.

Portions of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards the charities represented by the Kern County Fire Department, as well as sales from specialty jerseys auctioned off by the Bakersfield Condors.