For the first time in three years citizens from around the Columbia area came together to compete pulling CRFD firetrucks at the annual Firetruck Pull on Saturday morning April 30, 2022.
By the time the event was over more than $19,000 was raised to benefit ‘Curing Kids Cancer.’ Those funds will now be used by the organization to support pediatric cancer research and patient care at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Midlands.
Twenty teams took part in the 2022 Firetruck Pull including one team made up of members of the Columbia-Richland Fire Department. This was the first time the competition was held live in Columbia since 2019. In 2020 and 2021 the event had to be held virtually due to the treat of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Our department takes great pride in being able to sponsor this event each year by providing the firetrucks and I am thrilled that we’re now able to hold it again live and in person,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “I am also very proud of our members that came out to pull for CRFD and support the spirit of the competition.”
Each team that took part in the firetruck pull competed to show support or honor the memory of a child that has been touched by cancer. Team CRFD pulled in honor of 9-year-old Killian Owen, who passed away from cancer in 2003 and whose courageous story led to the founding of ‘Curing Kids Cancer.’ Over the years the organization has gone on to raise more than $23 million for pediatric cancer research and treatment through fundraising campaigns and events. All proceeds raised from the Firetruck Pull will benefit the Gamecock Curing Kids Cancer $1.2 million endowment to the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders Clinic at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital – Midlands.
Winners of the competition are declared by determining which teams can pull a CRFD fire engine the fastest over a distance of about 30 feet. This year members of the University of South Carolina Football Team pulling as ‘Gamecocks for Khalil’ took home the top honor as the fastest 10-person team. The fastest 12-person team to complete the pull was members of the USC Equestrian Team pulling as ‘USC Equestrian for Brianna.’
The ‘Moms of Warriors’ team won the award for raising the most funds ahead of the competition while team ‘Eve’s Princes and Princesses’ was recognized as the best dressed team.