The firefighters of Volunteer Hose Company proved to be just a little hungrier than their counterparts at the Middletown Police Department on Tuesday.

The firefighters of Volunteer Hose Company proved to be just a little hungrier than their counterparts at the Middletown Police Department on Tuesday.

The fire company’s five-member team managed to wolf down nearly two pounds of vanilla ice cream more than the five-member squad from the police department at Bruster’s sixth-annual ice cream eating contest at 465 W. Main St.

In doing so, the firefighters evened the score with the police department at three wins a piece, setting up a tie breaker at next summer’s event.

“You couldn’t have written it any better,” Bruster’s Real Ice Cream owner Coleen Daniels said. “Hopefully, it gets these guys excited and we get a good turnout cheering them on next year.”

About 40 people – mostly firefighters and police officers – turned out to watch this year’s event, which was postponed from the originally-scheduled showdown on Aug. 7, due to rain.

Tuesday’s victory marked a comeback for the firefighters who were down 3-1 after the 2011 event.

After leading his team to gluttonous victory on Tuesday, firefighter Phil “Ice Cream Monster” Smith raised the banana split-filled trophy and offered his theory on how Volunteer Hose has managed to turn the tide in recent years.

“I wasn’t here for this one and this one,” he said, pointing at the plates that commemorate the police department’s wins during the first two years of the event. “I joined the team in 2010 and we won that year. Then in 2011 (also won by MPD), I was in Afghanistan, although I got a few calls that day telling me where I really belonged. Since then, we haven’t lost once.”

This year, Smith out-ate all other competitors by knocking back nearly three quarts on his own.

“I just tear up ice cream,” he said. “I destroy at least a pint a week, although I prefer black cherry vanilla.”

This year, Middletown Police Department’s squad was made up of four seasonal officers and Town Councilman David Fisher’s 15-year-old son Joseph.

The police put on a valiant effort despite coming up a few pints short.

“My teeth hurt,” Officer Steve Cowgill said immediately after the event. “I think it was a good competition and we came out fighting, but it just wasn’t our year. This was the first year for all of us so I think we’ll bring it even harder next summer.”

Bruster’s ice cream eating contest between the firefighters and police is purely for fun, with the winning team receiving nothing more than a trophy and bragging rights.

But the firefighters didn’t waste any time in taking full advantage of their spoils.

“They better dig a little deeper next year,” Smith said of the police department. “Because the bottom of the barrel just isn’t working for them.”