Chief Tucker makes the Polar Bear jump in Seward

Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Central Emergency Service (CES) Chief Jeff Tucker is trained to run into burning buildings, but Saturday was his first time to jump into the frigid waters of Prince William Sound.

Dressed as the CES mascot Sparky, Tucker made his initiation jump on behalf of the American Cancer Society Saturday during the annual Polar Bear Jump in Seward. In preparing for his jump last week Tucker said, "The Soldotna Rotary Club was looking for someone to jump this year for the American Cancer Society, they have been sponsoring jumpers for many years and were looking for volunteers, and I was smart enough or silly enough this year to volunteer for it."

Tucker admitted that he hadn't even seen the Polar Bear Jump before, but was looking forward to being a participant for the first time. Chief Tucker was sure he would have a great cheering section from fellow fire fighters in Seward as well as his colleagues in the Central Peninsula who were planning to attend the event and eager to watch their Chief take the arctic plunge. "I'll be in good hands if anything like cardiac arrest happens," laughed Tucker, preparing for the plunge at last weeks Soldotna Rotary Club meeting. Tucker estimated that when all his pledges were accounted for his big chill would have raised over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society. Like all the funds raised at this year's Polar Bear Festival the monies will be spent to help cancer patients in Alaska.

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