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<b>The Waiting:</b> Ulua fishermen at dusk near South Point on the Big Island. <br>photo: Brad Goda
Vol. 13, no. 4
August/September 2010

 

The Firemen's Ball 
Story by Catharine Lo
Dana Edmunds 
 
Honolulu's firefighters never know what's coming next: a brush fire, a burning building, an ocean rescue. They let the stress out back at the station, pumping iron, whipping up feasts in the kitchen and battling it out on the volleyball court: three-on-three, jungle rules. Losers have to buy the Gatorade.
 
The volleyball games have become a long-standing Honolulu Fire Department tradition: Each station has its own teams, some even have their own court, and every March more than a hundred firefighters come together to compete in the Waikiki Fire Station Volleyball Tournament.
 
"It's a chance to meet people who work in other battalions," says Duke Robins, the captain of Pawa'a Station's second-watch team, the defending champs. "Depending on the personalities of who's playing, it can get pretty competitive," he says, but that pays off every time the fire alarm rings.
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