Miami's Fire and Police Departments are going head to head in a 'Miami March Madness Hoopla Basketball Game' fundraiser for the Ottawa County United Way at 11 a.m. on March 24 at the Miami Civic Center.

Miami's Chief of Police George Haralson and Miami's Fire Chief Ronnie Cline will each be coaching their department's teams and predict the game will be a close one.

“In our coaching ability I think we're about the same,” Chief Cline said as he tried to keep a straight look on his face.

Chief Haralson laughed and said,“You know I'm not even sure what basketball's all about. I hope the guys playing know what they're doing.”

After some good natured “trash talking” both coaches spoke of their mutual respect for each other and their departments.

“It's for a great cause. One of the things I love about this guy here is that is that he's very community oriented and I like that,” Chief Cline said of his opponent coach.

“We love the guys in the big red truck,” Chief Haralson said.

“Likewise. They do so much for us at the fire scenes they've pulled hose and forced entry doors and been right along with us. We're just hand in hand and either way we're there to help.That's what's incredible. We want to be good role models,” Chief Cline returned.

“We're combining efforts again for this good cause. We're excited about it. It's all about public safety and quality of life and we both want to do what we can to help and to provide a great environment for the citizens of Miami to live in,” Chief Haralson said.

Both coaches encouraged everyone to come out to support the local United Way and to cheer on the teams.

“We're going to need it,” both agreed.

Ottawa County United Way Director Brent Brassfield said that tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children under 13 at the gate or by calling 918-533-6968.