HINCKLEY – Hinckley resident Mary Michalski's young children were prepared Sunday for the water fight at Hinckley-Big Rock High School, 700 E. Lincoln Ave., Hinckley.
Her son James, 9, and daughter Cameron, 6, were dressed in their swimsuits as water from the hoses of six different local fire departments sprinkled down on the young spectators, who were just a few feet away from the action.
"They're soaking wet," Michalski said. "They'll probably remember that as one of their best childhood memories."
Hinckley Fire Department hosted its second water fight of the summer Sunday. A water fight is a competition in which two teams use fire hoses and aim to move a hanging barrel to one end before their competitor in two minutes.
Lisle-Woodridge Fire Department won the first round of the water fight against the Waterman Fire Department. Lisle-Woodridge firefighter Austin Gieser has been participating in water fights for four years and does it for the camaraderie and for the fun of it.
Gieser said the wind plays a factor in trying to move the barrel.
"I don't think there is a strategy," Gieser said. "I use a little bit of skill from firefighting and a little bit of luck."
Hinckley firefighter Steve Devereaux served as the referee, wearing a helmet to protect himself from getting too drenched.
He said the Hinckley Fire Department rotates hosting water fights with Sandwich and Somonauk. The top three finishers from the water fight Sunday got to take home a trophy.
"It's really for bragging rights," Devereaux said.
The Sandwich Fire Department might have a right to claim some bragging rights. Some of their firefighters said they have about 100 trophies from water fight wins they've accumulated over the years at the fire station. Sandwich Fire Department also won a water fight Saturday in Newark.
Sandwich firefighter Jeff Grey has been participating in water fights for more than 10 years. He was wearing high, black socks that had blazes of fire on them.
Grey said water fights teach teamwork and teach firefighters how to maneuver with a hose. He also brought his seven-month-old daughter Addison to watch him participate.
"She was in love with the trophy yesterday," Grey said.