Police best firefighters in hot wing challenge

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Jan. 24, 2013
Firefighter Dan Savelli feels the heat of the wing as Chris Wilke looks on during the first Windsor Police versus Fire 'Blaze Off' at Buffalo Wild Wings on Jan. 23. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Firefighter Dan Savelli feels the heat of the wing as Chris Wilke looks on during the first Windsor Police versus Fire 'Blaze Off' at Buffalo Wild Wings on Jan. 23. Photos by Colin Rajala.

Windsor firefighters and Windsor police officers usually work together as first responders who protect citizens' lives and property, but on Jan. 23 they lined up against each other in the first “Blaze Off” competition at Buffalo Wild Wings. The hot wing-eating contest was held to raise awareness about two major feeder programs for the two departments: the Windsor Fire Explorers and the Windsor Police Cadets.

“We think it’s important we grow our local talent here,” said firefighter Chris Wilke. “We have a large amount of our Windsor Fire Explorers turn out to become Windsor firefighters, and I believe they have a similar experience for the Windsor Police. It’s an easy way for us to reach out to the community and help kids grow up and see they can become a part of the community.”

For the challenge, teams of three firefighters squared off against three police officers, not only for pride, but for all the bragging rights in town. The teams of three had to finish 10 wings drenched in Buffalo Wild Wings’ Blazin’ sauce in the fastest time for the right to display the large Blazin' Challenge Trophy at the Safety Complex. The Blazin' sauce weighs in around 200-300,000 Scoville units, the measurement of the pungency of the pepper sauce, making it 60 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper and about the same heat as a habanero pepper. It’s so hot the Blazin' bottle features warning labels to "keep away from eyes, pets and children."

The police department got out to the early lead with a trick technique, splitting the bone and sucking the meat off of it, but Wilke made a furious comeback for the fire department, bringing the challenge down to the wire. It turned out that the police held on for the win, finishing their 30 wings in seven minutes and 12 seconds, or a wing every 14 seconds.

“We're good heart [healthy] eaters usually,” Wilke said. “I threw dignity into the wind and just went at it. I am probably going to regret it in a little while,” he said.

“I’ve been training all of my life for this; I fasted for like 15 days,” said Police Lt. Mark Francis. “We shared our little secrets and stuff like that and we knew through our superior training, and training under pressure, we could beat their best time. We paced ourselves and counted on each other. If we had to go a seven-game series, we know we would get them; we’re the best,” he boasted.


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