Recently Retired Deputy Chief of the Pittsfield Fire Department, Michael Polidoro along with Chief of Police in the Town of Lee, Jeff Roosa discussed the Inaugural Arrest and Extinguish event to raise funds for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research. Money raised will go to the Therapy Development Institute. Both men suffer from ALS and are hosting this event as a mission to support younger generations that already suffer from or may acquire ALS in the future. The event takes place at Tanglewood in Lenox on May 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This event will invite first responders from in and around Massachusetts to form teams, raise funds and compete in a tug-of-war competition. A prize will be awarded to the team that receives the most donations. Jeff mentioned that there are four trophies that will be given away to the following: Top Fire Team, Top Police Team, Top Donors and Top Open Class Team.

Jeff and Mike also stated the team that wins the tug-of-war competition will go on to compete at the Firefighter Combat Challenge in June. Here's what Mike had to say about the history of the Firefighter Combat Challenge and what it is:

Well the Firefighter Combat Challenge is something that's been going on since the early 90s. It's firefighters competing in a series of five consecutive events that simulate the job and tasks that would be involved in firefighting. From climbing five flights of stairs carrying a hotel pack which the length of a hose and weighs about 45 pounds. That's in addition to your 60 pounds of gear you're wearing. The Pittsfield Fire Department has had teams in the firefighter challenge since the 90s. The competition at the end of the Combat Challenge which is an international event (they're anticipating having teams coming in from Canada and from throughout the country) will be taking place at the Berkshire Crossing on Jun. 14 and 15. At the end of that competition will be the run off for the Arrest and Extinguish tug-of-war.

Jeff mentioned how awesome Tanglewood has been at getting this event up and running. He said that when he approached Tanglewood with the idea for this event, the venue was on board without hesitation.In addition, Jeff would love to see a military team be formed. He stated that there seems to be a correlation between military personnel and ALS. Research is still being conducted to discover what that correlation may be.

According to Jeff and Mike, they are hoping the Arrest and Extinguish fundraiser event takes off nationally like the Ice Bucket Challenge did in the past. That's their goal. The guys are already seeing some interest from other states.Community members are encouraged to donate to their favorite team and cheer them on at the May 18th tug-of-war event at Tanglewood! You can learn more, start a team and/or make a donation by going here. You can also email events@als.net

Update: Here is a list of bands that we'll be performing at the event this Saturday, May 18:

1.) Horns B Funk and Company
2.) Matt Cimini
3.) Shut Up and Dance
4.) Flip Side
5.) Critical Mass

(article image (left) Jeff Roosa, (right) Michael Polidoro)