CULLMAN, Ala. – There was something to please everyone at the Cullman EMS sixth annual 911 Chili Supper & Cook-Off on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Cullman VFW. The event featured a variety of delicious chili recipes prepared by some of the county’s finest first responders and somewhere between 175-200 people attended.
The aromas of spicy chilies filled the air as participants competed for awards in both the best chili and hottest chili categories. The competition was fierce and judges had their hands full deciding which dishes were worthy of taking home top honors.
The best overall chili winner was Jared Johnson (and his daughter) from the Logan Volunteer Fire Department, with second place going to Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Daniel Cummings. The award for hottest chili went to Tim Martin with Cullman Fire Rescue.
In addition to competitions for best chili, there were door prizes for attendees. The event was family-friendly, and children of all ages enjoyed watching the competition and meeting some of the local emergency services personnel who work hard to serve the community.
The real winners were the military veterans served by VFW Post 2214 who were recognized during the event. Proceeds raised during the chili cook-off will go toward providing PTSD treatment. Many veterans attended the event and joined in tasting the spicy entries.
“All of today’s proceeds are going to benefit veterans for PTSD treatment,” shared Cullman EMS Director James Curtis. “I want to encourage everyone that’s out there that, if they know a veteran that’s struggling with substance abuse, alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, to reach out and get some help. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to reach these people and save them. The veterans look out for us and we need to look out for them.”
Curtis continued, “This is also an opportunity for EMS and first responders to meet folks in the community and give back to the community. We want to say thank you to Cook Ministries, Standing in the Gap Ministries and Restoration Counseling Services for being here and being advocates for mental health. We’re so thankful for all of the people who came out today and it’s a successful event once again.”
In all, 133 tickets were sold to attendees who voted on the chili entries. Door prize and facility use sponsors included the Cullman VFW, West Point Band Boosters, Rock the South, Air Evac Lifeteam, McGriff Tires, Initial Impressions and American Emergency Products.