City Police & Firefighters Set to Square Off on the Hardwood

March 10, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Bragging rights within the City Municipal Building will be on the line when Warren City Police and Firefighters meet on the basketball court on March 25.

The Cuffs & Ladders basketball fundraiser will be held at the Warren County YMCA on Saturday, March 25. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. with doors opening to the public at 4:30 p.m. Cost is $5 and all proceeds will benefit the police and firefighter’s unions.

“We were just trying to look for some fun ideas to raise money for the unions to make them stronger,” Police Sgt. Joe Bees, one of the event’s organizers, said. “We wanted to do something that the community could come out and enjoy some entertainment. Watch people who are typically seen in a uniform, wearing a different kind of uniform.”

Team members will be accessible pre- and post-game to interact with community members in attendance.

“Right now, not everyone knows that they have paid fire service and EMS service in the city, even though they’ve been living here for 20 years or so,” Firefighter Greg Ireland said. “So it’s good to get our name out there and show that we are actual people outside of the badge and everything in the uniform.”

In addition to the game, the event will feature a 50/50 raffle, concessions, and halftime entertainment.

“We’re gonna do a little halftime event where we offer some money up for half-court shots,” Bees said. “Just different things like that to keep the crowd engaged and have some fun.”

Bees said both the police and fire departments wanted to thank the YMCA for allowing the use of its gym as well as the volunteers who have offered their services to help the event run smoothly. Specifically, Cody Bupp who will serve as emcee, referees Joe Pellegrino and Glenn Morse, scoreboard operator Kris Bunk, and Phil Gilbert of JP Photography who will be capturing the event on camera.

The game itself will be played under collegiate rules, with 20-minute halves. Though still two weeks away from tipoff, Bees said the smack talk has already begun between the two departments.

“There’s been some light smack talk between us and them,” Bees said. “But, you know, police were born so firefighters could have heroes.”

“They think they got one up on us and will kick our butts,” Ireland countered. “But we know the real truth, and they’re all out of shape.”

Despite the good-natured trash talk, both departments know they can count on each other and have forged a camaraderie with each other.

“our relationship with the fire department is really good,” Bees said. “We see them on numerous types of calls, anything that the ambulances needed for since the fire department runs two ambulances, we see them a lot in that regard. We do see a lot of them enough so that we’ve formed friendships with a lot of them. And yeah, I think as a whole, our department, their department, we work really well together.”

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