A team of city firefighters scorched the field with a record setting performance in last weekend's Northeast Regional Firefighter Combat Challenge in Haverhill. The relay team broke its own state record — twice. They ran the final race in 1 minute 22 seconds, which smoked the record of 1:29 the squad set earlier during the two-day competition.

Overall, Pittsfield finished fourth among the 10 teams from throughout the Northeast in both the relay and overall team performance categories, according to local team captain, Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner.

Firefighter Combat Challenge is sport imitating life, as competitors have five real firefighting tasks to complete.

While Garner has competed individually in the Male Over 40 category in recent years, this is the first team appearance by Pittsfield in six years, with three first-timers: Kevin Brady, Adam Kent and Jake Brown. The city's firefighter training officer, Capt. Neil Myers, rounded out the five-man squad.

"Our three rookies did a hell of a job considering it was their first time racing," Garner told County Fare.

Garner himself was no slouch, placing second in the Male Over 40 bracket; 7th overall among the 60 individual participants.

In 2013, Garner placed 8th in the world championships in the over 40 category.

'Forgotten War' to be remembered


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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 448 are inviting the public and all veterans to attend a memorial ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, to be held at the Korean War Memorial, located next to the front steps of City Hall, commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. A rifle salute, taps and a bell will be rung as each of the 20 Pittsfield citizens' names are read in honor of those and all others that lost their lives in this tragic, often forgotten war.

Nature, science in student show

Selected student artwork from the students of Flying Cloud Institute continues to be shown and is for sale at the New Marlborough Meeting House on Route 57. The final showings will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit includes student paintings, photographs, ceramics, film and robots. Learn more at flyingcloudinstitute.org.

Community action grants available

August 26 is the deadline for submitting proposals for grants up to $10,000 that are being made available through Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's "HousingUs" initiative. The one-year grants are available to nonprofit and community organizations and public agencies that can create action-oriented community development strategies or create broader public awareness of the elements of healthy and resilient communities, including the availability of affordable housing.

Only collaborative proposals with one lead applicant and at least one other partner will be considered. Organizations serving Berkshire County, Mass.; Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, N.Y.; and northwest Litchfield County, Conn., are eligible.

The HousingUs initiative is a collaborative effort of community stakeholders committed to expanding the array of available affordable housing options in the above tri-state region.

For more information, visit berkshiretaconic.org, or contact special projects consultant Cynthia Pansing, at CPansing@berkshiretaconic.org or 413-429-8407.