Assemblymember Salas and Bakersfield Firefighters Host Battle of Champions Competition

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Assemblymember Salas with student athletes

Bakersfield Fire Department taught fire safety to teens and exposed student athletes to the rigors of being a firefighter

BAKERSFIELD – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and Bakersfield Firefighters invited Assembly District 32’s Athletic Champions to participate in a friendly firefighter training obstacle course competition at the Olive Drive Firefighter Training Facility.  The teams selected to participate in this event won the championships in their division. This event taught fire safety to teens, young adults, and their parents and exposed participants to the rigors of being a firefighter. Students and parents also had the opportunity to discuss legislation with Assemblymember Salas.

“Our young scholars and student athletes are part of why the Valley community is so strong. We put the top athletic teams to the test by challenging them to a firefighter obstacle course set up by the Bakersfield Fire Department,” said Assemblymember Salas.  “These students showed their perseverance, strength, and mental fortitude by undergoing the rigorous training required by firefighters.  The Battle of Champions provides a great opportunity for students to gain valuable insight into what it takes to be a firefighter. Thank you to the Bakersfield Fire Department for your leadership and hard work in making this event possible for our exceptional Valley students. ”

“Rudy came up with the idea of a Junior Fireman Academy years ago before he was elected to the Assembly. When we were in Sacramento Rudy and I were talking about doing Battle of Champions so the local area kids that were champions in their respective sports could see what a fireman does on a day to day basis,” Jimmy Cherry, Captain at Bakersfield Fire Department Station No. 3.  “This is an important event for the community. We can tell the kids about fire safety who in turn can teach their parents. It also provides students with a career path to the fire department.”

“This event encourages good sportsmanship and brings people together,” Abraham Garica, member of Arvin High School Drumline.  “It brings me together one last time with the people I spent most of my high school years with. This is a really good event.”

Over 70 student athletes participated in the Battle of Champions and four schools attended:

Arvin High School Color Guard (Pep and Pageantry Arts Association Champions)

Arvin High School Drumline (Southern Valley Winter Arts Association Champions)

Delano Boys Tennis (East Yosemite League 3x Champions)

Robert F. Kennedy High School (Valley Champions)


Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.