Berwick “Bulldawg Plunge”

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BERWICK--While many people spent this cold New Year's Day inside, some people in Berwick went outside and took a plunge into the Susquehanna River --a "Bulldawg Plunge"!

It was pretty cold outside on this New Year's Day...so why was this man wearing a speedo? Because he was jumping into the Susquehanna River as part of Berwick's first ever "Bulldawg Plunge", of course!

"We thought, you know what? We have a river here. Perfect opportunity for us. The community stands behind us so we figured we'd try to do something different," Fire Chief Bill Coolbaugh said.

Polar Bear Plunges are held all over as a way to raise money for certain causes. The Berwick Fire Department put its own spin on the event and called it a "Bulldawg Plunge" after the Berwick Bulldawgs. The event drew around 20 plungers who paid $10 each and many spectators who offered donations.

"Do you think it's a little crazy? Just a little. Have you ever done anything like this? No. No? Are you nervous? Yeah," Anthony Ventora said.

Chief Bill Coolbaugh says the water was 58 degrees, but the firefighters say that did not make them nervous since they are used to extreme elements.

"No difference in us going in cold water than going into a burning building. It's the same thing," Tom Lapinski said.

But once it came time to jump, the plungers did not last too long in the water!

"So how was it since you went in the water? How was it? It was actually pretty cold," Lapinski said.

"My toes are cold," Josh Young said.

All of the money from the plunge goes to buy water rescue equipment for the Berwick Fire Department.

"Those suits are roughly about $1,000 so every dollar that comes in helps buy the equipment and then we don't have to actually go back to the tax base and try to buy the equipment," Coolbaugh said.

The firefighters say they plan to make this an annual event in Berwick.

1 Comment

  • Reliance needs to go.

    The question needs to be asked why are they raising the funds? Reliance Fire Co, not Berwick Fire Dept is benefitting from this and yet Reliance is the richest company in town. Maybe they should concentrate on training and tactics instead of boosting their egos even more. They are a PR Department, not a fire department.

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