Camaraderie, friendship and competition
The stakes for bragging rights were high as local and state public safety personnel engaged in friendly competition and camaraderie during the fourth annual Guns & Hoses softball game at McNair Field on Tuesday evening.
The event featured slow-pitch softball and specifically catered to the public safety community, bringing together police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel in an organized environment designed to promote competition, friendship and camaraderie.
"There's a fun competitiveness between us and the fire departments," said Forest City Police Capt. Chris Lovelace, who has participated in the game all four years. "It's a great chance to get out to have fun, enjoy ourselves and be in a different environment with the guys we work with."
Participating law enforcement agencies on the Guns team included the Forest City Police Department, Lake Lure Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
On the Hoses team were firefighters and emergency responders from fire departments in Forest City, Spindale, Ellenboro, Cliffside, Sandy Mush and Bostic.
"I'm a retired law enforcement officer, so these are all people I know on both teams," said Bostic Fire Chief Randy Jolley. "This game is a good thing and a good cause to get together — we only get together like this once a year really."
The Guns were out to even their record during Tuesday night's game, hoping to break the Hoses' two-year winning streak.
"We (the Guns) won the game the first year, but this year we were looking for revenge," Lovelace said. "The winner gets bragging rights for a year."
"Although we (the Hoses) have won the past two years, it's just been a good time with great camaraderie," said Sandy Mush firefighter Bill Short.
After seven innings of competitive play, the Guns emerged victorious with their single home run in the sixth inning.
"I've really enjoyed playing with my fellow law enforcement officers and firefighters the past four years," said Highway Patrolman Scott Morrow. "The field is awesome as is the camaraderie."
"It's a great thing getting to play with all these different agencies," said Forest City Police Patrol Officer James Greene. "I'll take a bullet for my fellow officers and a broken leg stealing a base for my team."