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Hero Rush aims to boost fire volunteer membership

Competitors will climb ladders, slide down poles, crawl through windows and endure hazmat slime in Hero Rush, a 4- to 5-mile obstacle race Saturday in Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, featuring challenges faced by firefighters.

Sponsored by the Erie County Parks Department, Erie County Department of Emergency Services and, the county Volunteer Fire Service’s recruitment campaign, it also is intended to boost membership in local volunteer fire departments.

The all-day event also will feature two children’s courses, one for those ages 4 to 6, and a half-mile Junior Heroes challenge for those 7 to 13. There also will be music, food, beverages, a firefighter-themed midway, displays of old and new fire apparatus and demonstrations by fire departments.

Separate races, called waves, will begin every 15 to 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Special waves will benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation at 11 a.m. and the firefighters killed and injured last Christmas Eve outside Rochester at 12:30 p.m. Registration fees vary. Spectators are admitted free. For information, visit