Smyrna fire company also won first place awards for color guard, non-school band, drum major and brush truck

For the 36th time, extending their state record, the members of Citizens' Hose Company of Smyrna won the Governor's Cup at the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Parade today, Sept. 17, in Dover.

The Governor's Cup is awarded to the best fire company with music, and Citizens' Hose has won the cup more than any other fire company in the state.

"It's just a tremendous morale booster for the younger members and the older members," said Citizens' Hose Company President Brooks Keen. "We take the equipment apart, clean it and put it all back together and do a long of scrubbing and polishing. We put a lot of time and effort into it. It's more than just a parade to us."

Citizens' Hose also won the following awards at the parade:

•Best Colorguard,

•Best Non-School Band,

•Best Drum Major,

•Best Brush Truck,

•Best Pre-Teen Miss Fire Prevention Brooke Willis,

•2nd Best Antique Fire Engine,

•2nd Best Ladder Truck,

•3rd Best Engine, 1985-present,

•3rd Best Pumper/Rescue Truck.

"Thanks to everyone for all the great effort," said Citizens' Hose Company Fire Chief Brian Jarrell at the celebration after the firefighters returned to Smyrna. "The trucks looked fantastic. The marching today -- I saw it on video -- was very good. I applaud all of your hard work."

Jarrell thanked all the crews who worked on the trucks and gave special thanks to his wife and all spouses and significant others for their support while the firefighters worked long hours at the station preparing for the parade.

He also praised the work of the probational members, thanked the fire prevention queens and thanked the team who videoed the fire company during marching practice.

Finally, the firefighters gave a cheer to the marching band for all of their efforts.

Jarrell said this Governor's Cup is dedicated to Past Chief Tommy Bowers and fire company leaders who have passed away in recent years: Ron Hoffecker, Bob Jones and Tony Payne.

At the celebration, firefighters and family members sported shirts with the slogan "State Street's Finest: Carrying on the Tradition One Step at a Time" because the annual DVFA parade is held on State Street in Dover.

The firefighters also held the keg roll on West Commerce Street, a tradition which dates back to the early 1960s when the fire company won the Governor's Cup but ran out of beer at the fire hall. They walked down the block to the liquor store on the corner of Commerce and Market, bought another keg and rolled it back to the firehouse.

After that, every time Citizens' Hose Company wins the Governor's Cup, the firefighters take the first empty keg from the celebration to that spot, which is now where Sheridan's Irish Pub is located, and roll the empty keg from Market Street to the firehouse.