By Gabrielle Fellows
The 38th annual Ohio Police and Fire Games was chosen to take place in Youngstown June 14 -19. The games offer upwards of 35 events that local and visiting police and fire workers can compete in.
Over 500 police and fire personnel are currently expected to be participating in the events.
According to theohiopoliceandfiregames.org, the purpose of the games is to “support the physical and mental fitness of Ohio’s active and retired law enforcement and firefighter personnel … by promoting the concept of physical fitness and sport within their respective communities through the development … of sporting events.”
Each year, the board of directors of the games select the host city — this year, it’s Youngstown. Then, an overall coordinator is selected to organize the games in said city.
Carl Frost, Beaver Local Police Department’s chief of police, is this year’s overall coordinator of the Ohio Police and Fire Games.
Frost is an active participant in the games, this being his 12th consecutive year of competition. He said he thinks the way the games and certain events of the games are organized this year will not only be beneficial to the personnel participating, but for the entire city of Youngstown and its residents.
“I am a cyclist and compete in the road race, criterium, 1 kilo sprint and time trial each [year]. We added spinning to the list of events this year to try to get some different competitors, and I am signed up for that as well. I am excited for the road race this year because the route I have laid out will, in a way, tie the entire Games together,” Frost said. “The race will start by the Mill Creek Metro Parks Golf Course and wind through the length of the park. It will then pass through downtown Youngstown and up through the YSU campus before heading back out to the finish line at the golf course. I believe this will showcase our area to those from out of town, or even those local cyclists who do not take advantage of the park.”
Many of the events are free and open to the public to come and watch, including the opening ceremony. Some of the events include track and field, shooting (handgun, rifle and shotgun), weightlifting, K9 competitions, cycling, golf, fishing and many others. The full schedule can be found at the website, theohiopoliceandfiregames.org.
Nancy Tamburini Neal, the treasurer and marketing and website coordinator of the Ohio Police and Fire Games, said that the games are beneficial to both the participants’ health and image in the community.
She said that in light of recent events concerning Police Officers in America, the games “serve as a peek into their ordinary lives — not only giving them a chance to have some fun competition, but also to show the public that they are real, down-to-earth men and women.”
“First responders are real people who have real lives. They have families, friends, hobbies. Ordinary people doing an extraordinary job — a job not just anyone could (or would) do. While it may take a certain personality type to be a first responder, I would like the public to see them as just people,” Tamburini Neal said. “Imagine going to a restaurant, school function, or church meeting. You don’t look around the room and say, ‘Oh, that’s an accountant, that’s a waitress, that’s a dog groomer, that’s a news reporter.’ You just see people.”