Olympic-like games bring out the best of the west from fire and police departments.
When they’re out saving lives its no competition, but this past week’s Western States Police and Fire Games was all about the winners.
More than 5000 athletes from police and fire agencies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming participated in the games.
The games featured traditional team sports like baseball and soccer but also some not so typical games like dodge ball, and paintball.
“The overall feel of the games was amazing, everyone seemed to have had a great time,” said Sgt. Darren Harris, public information officer for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station. “Some have gone as far to say that these games were the best they’ve been to in 10 years.”
Local deputies fared well in the games with the L.A County team taking home the gold medal in softball, and local deputy Robert Wilkinson earned the silver medal in boxing.
Thousands of people turned out to watch the boxing finals Friday night at Santa Clarita Studios.
Events took place in more than 50 venues throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and the influx of visitors not only helped boost competitors’ morale but also helped out the community.
According to the L.A Sheriff’s Athletic Association which is the governing body for the games the economic impact to communities hosting past games has been anywhere from $5 to $8 million.
“The support for the local business was overwhelming,” said Harris.
The Police and Fire games started out as the California Police Olympics in 1967, and have since transformed to include fire departments. Previous games have been held in Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington.
For more information on the games and the results from the events click here.
Pictures courtesy of Western States Police and Fire Games