City of Gulfport workers build teamwork with paintball

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport city employees did some teamwork building at the Seabee base on Friday. The various city departments squared-off against one another on the paint ball course.

The games were all in good fun, but they did spark the competitive spirit for some.

"I hope this is not going to be an experiment gone horribly wrong," said Mayor Billy Hewes before the games began. "We figured a little change in pace for the work day on a Friday, come out and have a little team building and have a little fun."

After a quick pep talk from the mayor, it was game on.

The premier match was Gulfport police versus Gulfport fire. In a spirited game of paintball strategies and military moves, the sharp shooting police faced the well conditioned firefighters.

"That's what we were worried about, they workout all day. We were worried about their athleticism and speed, and they used it to the best of their ability. So it was great," said police officer Paul Podlin.

The rules for this color spattered warfare were simple: Last man standing or the most players left when time runs out wins.

"It was exciting. It got your blood pumping. Especially when you had these paint balls bouncing around all over the place," said Jeff Necaise.

Building teamwork and boosting morale are the benefits here. Each city department fielded a team.

"The key is the directors can't participate. They're on a different team. So whoever wins out of the rank and file, they get to shoot at their bosses," said Hewes.

Though the various battles were fierce, it was all in good fun for these fellow employees.

"You get people outside the normal operating system they have every day. You get to have a little bit better feel for how people are and get to know them a little better. I think it's going to be good for our whole city," said Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt.

Hewes finally got to show off his paint ball form, and he was looking good until an ambush from city council President Ricky Dombrowski.

"We need a vote out of the council next week. We're letting them win, so we can get a right vote next week," said Hewes.

We all look forward to the rematch.

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