Montgomery Set to Welcome Firefighter Combat Challenge to Capital City
Monday, October 13, 2014
MONTGOMERY — Members of the Montgomery Fire/Rescue Department will put their considerable skills to the test as the Capital City hosts the Firefighter Combat Challenge Oct. 17-18. The competition, now in its 23rd year, promotes firefighter fitness and highlights the readiness and skills required of firefighters in meeting the demands of their jobs.
Montgomery Fire Chief Miford Jordan said the city expects to welcome to Montgomery approximately 75 competitors from throughout the country for the final regional competition of the year in anticipation of the U.S. Nationals Oct. 23-25 in Tyler, Texas.
Jordan called the challenge a “spirited competition that makes us better at our jobs by focusing on the essential functions of firefighting,” while Chamber of Commerce executive Dawn Hathcock touted the event as a “great, family-friendly spectator sport” for Capital City residents and visitors.
“Firefighting is hard, physically demanding work in which every second counts. As firefighters, when we improve in fitness and health, we improve the quality of our service to the public,” the chief said.
Demanding for competitors, the Firefighter Combat Challenge also is a popular and exciting spectator sport, according to Hathcock, vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau.
“This free, action-packed event, which has been called the ‘toughest two minutes in sports’ by ESPN, will give locals and visitors a chance to not only show support for our local firefighters, but also to enjoy family-friendly activities, Montgomery’s beautiful Riverfront Park, and the plentiful restaurants and attractions in the walkable downtown area,” she said.
The competition features a course comprising five events: forcible entry, victim rescue, the hose hoist, the hose advance, and the high-rise pack carry. Clad in their 70-pound firefighter suits, firefighters race against the clock in completing the course. The competition includes individual, relay and tandem events.
Also on tap is a cooking competition in which MF/R teams vie for bragging rights and the department’s “Top Chef” award. Renowned for their skills on the fire lines and in the kitchen, Montgomery firefighters will prepare signature dishes for a panel of local judges. In addition, youngsters are invited to participate in a special “Kids’ Challenge,” and fire truck rides will be offered to the young and young at heart. The events are free and open to the public.
Challenge events and the cook-off will be held in the city parking lot at Commerce and Tallapoosa streets. Races are set to begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, and will resume Saturday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. The cooking competition is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Teams of firefighters from throughout the United States and Canada compete in Firefighter Combat Challenge events during the spring and summer, leading up to the national and world competitions each fall.