Columbus firefighters, with a few reinforcements from Columbus Township, are ready to rumble roller-derby style with the Terrorz Roller Derby team to raise money for the Firemen’s Cheer Fund.
In the inaugural match-up last year between the firefighters and the patient and ultimately victorious Terrorz, the skaters raised about $2,300 to help local families in need during the Christmas season.
Proceeds from this year’s event, 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Columbus Skateland Rink, will go to the Cheer Fund. Skateland donates the use of the rink and costs so more can go to the fund.
Don’t be surprised if you see a fire truck and an ambulance parked outside. The firefighters learned last year that the Terrorz, a group of skilled and experienced skaters, aren’t giving any slack to the newbies in the CFD shirts.
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The firefighters are in luck, as nearly all are already emergency medical technicians, and several of the firefighters’ 15-member squad are paramedics — just in case medical help is needed on the skating floor.
“We’re completely out of our element,” said Columbus firefighter Chris Owens, who goes by the performance name of “Happy Killmore.” “But when they asked me if I was signing up for this, I said, ‘Oh, I’m doing this. I am so doing this.”
The good-natured trash talk between the two teams is amped up, and the firefighters are pledging to put on a good show.
“We’re just tickled to death to be asked back to do this,” said firefighter Tim Perry, who goes by the roller derby name “Dancing Bear.” “But come Monday, we will be suffering.”
Perry has decorated his black skating helmet with a “this end up” message, to remind the firefighters to stay on their wheels and not on their, well, you know.
“We all know we have no business out here,” Perry said as he practiced earlier this week with the Terrorz team. “We don’t stand a chance,” he said, laughing.
Tiffany Kapczynski, who on the Terrorz team goes by the name “deKAPitator,” was helping train the firefighters by putting them through a few drills, and reminding them about the rules during earlier training sessions last week.
“I think it’s going to be good,” she said of this year’s good-natured bout. “But they’ve definitely been trash talking more to us.”
Columbus firefighter Ben Noblitt was trying to figure out if he could squeeze in part of a triathalon Saturday before competing on skates in Sunday’s bout. Skating under the name “Flying Squirrel,” Noblitt appeared at home in the roller rink, saying he’s been skating since he was a child. Perry said Noblitt could be the skater to watch in Sunday’s match.
The firefighters are hopeful for a large turnout, as the Cheer Fund helped nearly 1,400 kids last Christmas.
What: Terrorz Roller Derby vs. Columbus firefighters to benefit the Firemen’s Cheer Fund
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Columbus Skateland, 2660 N. Talley Road
How much: $5, children age 10 and younger admitted free, donations accepted for Cheer Fund
To learn more about how to help the Firemen’s Cheer Fund, visit http://cheerfund.com/