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Arts & Culture

Cold Water Suits Help Fire Departments During Phelps Event

Alaska Coast Guard

A recent event in Phelps helped bring in money for area fire departments.

The Blast Off event was held January 26th as part of the Blizzard Blast events.

But Phelps Chamber Director Celeste Hendrickson says the hightlight of the day was a competition called the Bob Off..

"...We took four volunteer firefighters and we got them into their cold water rescue gear, we cut a hole in the ice on North Twin(lake) and they competed to see how long they could last. Never having done this before we didn't know if that would be 15 minutes or 8 hours which those suits are designed for, two of them made it (almost) three hours in the water. The funds they raised were incredible.."

Both Jon Kangas and Chad Wright stayed in the water more than 2.5 hours before a safety observer ordered them out of the cold water.  Joel Chmeilraised the most funds, $1,600.

Hendrickson said the weekend event in total raised between $5,000 and $6,000 dollars.