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      U.P. Firefighters Tournament in 118th year

      Matthew Ellsworth has been a volunteer fireman with Bruce Crossing for the past three years, and he's using his skills to compete in the U.P. Firefighters Tournament."I just like helping out, volunteering. The guys needed enough guys to put on a race team, and it's just a fun event every year, and the U.P. Volunteer Firefighters really put in a good show," said Ellsworth.From Bessemer Township all the way to West Iron County, 21 teams compete in five different races."There's the ladder race, the three-man interchange, three-person interchange, four-person exchange; there's a relay rac, and then a mystery race which nobody knows except us," said Ironwood Fire Chief Ken Jacobson.The coupling race is where all five teammates have to put on their gear at the same time, hook up three separate pieces of hose, and connect it to the fire hydrant. As the water pumps through the hose, the team must knock down the cone in front of them.This tournament is somewhat of a tradition in Ironwood because it's the 11th time they've hosted the event, which is more than any other department in the U.P.Many of the firefighters say the tournament is less of a competition and more of a place to enjoy one another and have fun.

      And speaking of fun, if youâ??re wondering why our very own Steve Asplund isn't anchoring Friday's broadcast, that's because he's participating in the tournament.