On Thursday, June 9, the Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District participated in the Grand Opening of the new Wawa Store located at 4506 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida. Our Station 4 personnel, Lieutenant Chad D’Agostino, Firefighter/EMT Dustin Daughtrey, FF/EMT Brian Hodges, FF/EMT Dan Reisdorf and Fire Inspector Frank Meola participated in the Hoagies for Hero’s competition. Our personnel competing against the Bradenton Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department. Each Team had to build as many Italian Hoagies possible within 3 minutes. Before the actual competition each Team was instructed on how to build an Italian Hoagie, from cutting the roll, placing the meat and cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, seasoning and finishing with the Italian dressing.

After their in-service training, then all of the Teams lined up to their designated tables and shortly after the time began. Staff from Wawa started throwing lettuce at all of the Teams to start them in a lettuce war, but all Teams were focused and stayed busy building their hoagies until FF/EMT Brent Ranney came in with the ultimate distraction, a donut hanging from a pike pole. As the pictures show, one Team became distracted with the donut. At the 3 minute mark, the judge stopped all Teams and then staff from Wawa did the official count of Hoagies built by each Team. The unofficial count was Bradenton Police Department 28, Manatee Sheriff’s Department 26 and Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District 23.

Everyone had a great time and lots of fun building these hoagies. All Teams received $1000.00 to their designated charity plus a whole bunch of Italian Hoagies to eat. Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District donated their $1000.00 to the Manasota BUDS (Bringing Up Down Syndrome). Manasota BUDS provides programs, services and support to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families in Manatee and Sarasota County Florida.

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