Detroit, Windsor firefighters battle in 30th annual tug of war

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Tonight on the Detroit River they are celebrating the 30th annual International Tug of War as Detroit firefighters tried to defend their title against Windsor Fire. 

Detroit sends 15 of their strongest firefighters to the dock on the river at Hart Plaza  and Windsor has 15 of their strongest on the Canadian side.

Ron Savage gets invited to pull with Detroit every year because they want Fox 2 to cover it. 

"This is the best part (of my job)," said Detroit Fire Comissioner Edsel Jenkins. "Watching good, friendly competition between Detroit Windsor and Detroit."

"We're ready every year for this," said Jim Dobson of the Windsor Fire Team. "We try to make sure we're ready."

From the Detroit Dock a tug pulls 1,000 feet of heavy marine rope out to the middle of the river, an orange buoy is on the end.  Another tug pulls 1,000 feet of rope from the Windsor Dock.  

It's very visual for fans and easy to declare a winner - the first firefighter team to pull their buoy to the dock wins. 

A radio countdown kicks off the festivities.

The tug of war is a lot like firefighting.  When you need to turn it on there are no time outs, no halftime. You go hard until the finish. 

Detroit Fire has a system, they won the past three years straight. But not this year. Windsor wins the 30th annual International Tug of War. 

"Canada won by almost four minutes," Dobson said afterward.

"We got robbed," quipped Jenkins. "We'll get them next year.

"We have to get some of these young guys. We just hired 153 guys and we have some big, beefcake guys. We have to get them out here next year."