The heat was on at the Convention Center of Big Bear Lake July 13. Thirteen teams, including representatives of Big Bear, Anaheim, San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County fire departments and the Big Bear Hot Shots competed in a fire truck pull. The event was Pull for Cory Norton, a retired San Bernardino County Fire engineer who is battling epithelioid sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Norton grew up in Big Bear and is a 2004 graduate of Big Bear High School.

There were also teams from Big Bear Keller-Williams and Compass real estate offices, Stellar CrossFit and 7K CrossFit.

Each team paid a minimum of $200 to participate in the pull. Ten people at a time pulled a fire truck across the parking lot in a timed race. Norton steered the fire engine and put on the brakes at the finish line of each race.

Epithelioid sarcoma is a rare, slow-growing type of soft tissue cancer. The classic form of the disease mainly occurs in teenagers and young adults. A rarer form, tends to be more aggressive and mainly affects adults, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Norton family has partnered with a scientific research organization committed to researching a cure for epithelioid sarcoma. Money raised goes to the fund a scientist to conduct research at a lab in Oregon to potentially develop new drugs to treat the disease.

The Big Bear Fire Department was the big winner, turning in the fastest time of 14.60 seconds in the fire truck pull. The Big Bear Hot Shots were second at 14.69 followed by the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Anaheim Fire Department, which clocked identical times of 14.74.

Members of the Big Bear Fire Department, who donated $1,000, also won the best costume award. Firefighters wore cartoon super hero masks for their pull.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department donated the most money — $2,500 — and was recognized for their generosity by Norton’s mother, Beth.

The goal, Norton says, is to raise about $100,000 to $120,000 a year. More than $5,000 was raised at the Pull for Cory event in Big Bear July 13.

For those who wish to make a donation, go to www.epsresearch.org.

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