Members of the Team Waxahachie Police and Team Waxahachie Fire Department squared off for some fun-filled and friendly competition Thursday evening at Johnny Carino’s Restaurant in Waxahachie.

The two teams bellied up to the table for bragging rights to see which team could eat the most BBQ ribs in five minutes.

The restaurant held a benefit night with 15 percent of the dining proceeds going to Hope Clinic, which provides healthcare services to Ellis County uninsured and underinsured residents.

The highlight of the evening was the rib-eating contest between the two departments.

Each team was comprised of three members. Along with team caption (WFD Chief) Ricky Boyd, the fire department team included Shane Petty and Jeff Alexander.

Anchoring the police team was Brian Fuller, joined by O.T. Glidewell and James Taylor.

“Our ultimate goal is to decimate them,” Glidewell said during the pre-contest trash talking.

To pick up any scraps that may have slipped past the officers’ fingers, Cross, the department police dog was on hand to discourage any defenders.

 “We can out eat anybody in the house. We are used to sitting down at a table only to get a call and literally eat on the run,” Boyd said.

“Each plate has two racks of ribs. You will have five minutes to eat all you can. Any bone thrown in the bone plate with meat still on it will disqualify that team. Began eating,” Carino’s manager Cody Nickolson said.

Soon the meat-stripped bones of each team began falling into bone bowls as all of the contestants’ hands and faces were covered with sticky barbecue sauce.

The eating picked up as Nickolson announced, “One minute left.”

In the final seconds, police team member Fuller was the first to empty his plate as the last seconds were counted off.

The fire team was the first judged when Nickolson counted off 55 meatless bones in the bowl.

Tension in the room mounted as bones in the police team bowl were counted. The final tally of 52 gave the firefighters the bragging rights.

“It never gets old beating the police department. We love them and the main thing was to raise funds for a good community cause,” Alexander said.

After the competition was over, the two teams and their fellow firemen and police gathered around the table to finish off the remaining ribs.

Nickolson organized the event to help Hope Clinic.

“We like to help out and be a part of the community. Hope Clinic helps the community and we want to help them,” Nickolson said.

“My brother is a firefighter and I’m aware of the Guns and Hoses and other competitions. I decided to put this fun competition together to help the clinic,” he added.

Nickolson estimates the event raised around $1,000 for the clinic.

“I’m so grateful for Carino’s and these department that came out tonight to support us. Whatever the amount they raise will be a blessing,” Hope Clinic CEO Mackie Owens said.

Leaving the table and looking back at the bowl of meatless bones, “We can eat that much on our way out the door when a call comes in,” fire team member Alexander said, giving a thumbs up to the crowd as the fire department began the “ribbing” after their victory.