The inaugural Public Safety BBQ Challenge was held on Saturday, October 6, 2012. The competition between the Fire/EMS Department and Police Department was held in conjunction with the Taste of the Boulevard held at the Boulevard at Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland. Both the PGFD and PGPD started their grills early to have their food prepared for the 2:00 pm start. The weather was beautiful, at time cloudy, but the mood among the large crowd was always festive. A dozen members of the Departments High School Cadet Program, under the guidance of Battalion Chief Meme Michaelides, were on hand to provide moral support by loudly cheering "FIRE DEPARTMENT, FIRE DEPARTMENT," throughout the event. The cadets also worked as the food servers.
Fire Fighter Chefs Don Purdy, Keith McKay and Rodney Cole prepared baby back ribs and marinated chicken breasts which, in my biased opinion, were without a doubt the best food of the day. Many members of the Department stopped by to support the effort including Deputy Fire Chief's Scott Hoglander and Frank Underwood, Assistant Fire Chief's Alicia Francis, Steve White and George Michaelides, Battalion Chief John Thompson, Volunteer Chief Kurt Ingrahams and many other members of the Department and their families. The Office of the Fire Marshall had numerous members present and displayed the Bomb Squad unit and Fire investigations unit as near the food court area.
The members of the public responded in high numbers to the BBQ Challenge area and long lines had formed awaiting the 2 pm start. Each taster paid a minimum of a $2 donation and in return was provided a tasting of both Departments tasty items and a ticket that would be used to vote for the Department that had, in their opinion, the best food items. The lines remained long throughout the first hour and soon the majority of the food had been consumed.
A panel of four judges including Chef Timothy Dean then tasted each item and voted on the best. They were split 2 for the Fire/EMS Department and 2 for the Police Department. It came down to the number of tickets that each side had collected. The Fire/EMS Department had 75 and the Police Department had collected 104 and was declared the winner.
While the Fire/EMS Department was not selected as the winner this year it was obvious that we provided extremely good food and festive atmosphere. It was enjoyable to interact with so many members of the community that enjoyed the event as much as we did. There were only winners here.
Proceeds from the Public Safety BBQ Challenge were are being donated to the Heroes, Inc and the County Police Explorers in the name of a recent Line of Duty Death of Police offer, Fist Class, Adrian Morris.
Congratulations to the Police Department on their victory, See you next year!!!
|Fire Fighter Chefs Purdy (pink shirt) and McKay|
|Fire Fighter Chefs McKay and Cole|
|PGFD Grill (foreground) and Police Grill Team (background)|
|Deputy Fire Chief Underwood talks with Terri Brady during the event. |
Many members of the Department brought their family with them.
|Chef Purdy slices the baby back ribs.|
|Deputy Fire Chief Hoglander talks with member of the community.|
|High School Cadets are prepped and ready to serve|
|Lines had formed prior to the 2 pm start|
|Cadets serve up the best ribs of the day|
|Throughout the course of the event - the atmosphere was charged with excitement and festivity, not to mention the smell of BBQ in the air.|
|Volunteer Chief Ingrahams and Fire Fighter McGown keep a close eye on the grill.|
|Assistant Fire Chief's Francis and White|
|High School Cadets worked hard.|
|Chef Purdy presents his food to Chef Timothy Dean and other judges.|
|Chef Dean had all positive comments for Chef Purdy|
|The trophy presentation.|