Police and firefighters faced off in Salem for their first Red on Blue Charity Basketball Game.
“We got a great working relationship, and this is a great opportunity for us to kind of play together,” said Joseph Ghobrial of the Salem Fire & EMS Department. “It’s always work with no play.”
It was all friendly competition, Ghobrial said, as first responders played for a good cause. But that did not stop them from practicing and preparing to win.
“We actually lost two players due to injuries during practice,” he said. “It’s that intense.”
A few months ago, Ghobrial said, firefighters teamed up with Salem police officers to find a new way to give back to the community.
“We decided we wanted to raise some money and have a good time, and so we came up with a basketball game,” said Sgt. Randy Rich of the Salem Police Department.
It was the first time police and firefighters in Salem played basketball for charity, Ghobrial said. All proceeds go towards the Salem Children’s Needs Fund, helping kids in the Salem area, he added.
“The Salem [Children’s Needs] Fund can help with Christmas presents,” Ghobrial said. “They can help with rent, mortgages.”
Police and firefighters we spoke with said they are hoping to make this a tradition and be back on the court next year.
“We’re hoping it grows and becomes bigger and more people, bigger venue, more sponsors so we can get more money for them,” Rich said.
With just one second left in the game, the police made a three-point shot to defeat the firefighters 51-50.