Imagine running the stairs at the Three Rivers Apartments. Now imagine running those stairs carrying a 42-lb hose pack, hoisting a 45-lb donut roll (not the kind you eat) to the top of the tower and then sprinting back down the stairs to continue with the other portions of the drill all while wearing full bunker gear and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). These are the real-life tasks that compose the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge® and a team from the Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) qualified recently for the World Championships which will be in Las Vegas, NV.
A five-man team from FWFD competed April 18, 2009, in Milford, OH, at the first regional qualifying competition. The five are Captain Tim Maloney and Firefighters Matt Miokovic, Kent Shaw, Jason Fleming and Brent Peterson. They started practicing together two times a week roughly a month before the competition which is designed to encourage firefighter fitness and to demonstrate to the public the rigors of their profession. Their team finished second in the Milford, OH, Competition and qualified to compete in the World Championships in November. They will continue to work out together and compete in a couple more of the regional competitions to “hone their skills,” said Captain Maloney, the captain of the team.
“Brent Peterson had competed as an individual the past couple of seasons,” said Maloney, “But he pulled us together as a team and we took on the challenge. We worked together to set up a tough training schedule with workout components for the race-specific training,” he added.
The head-to-head competition has firefighters racing against themselves, their opponents and the clock as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting in a series of five tasks. Tasks include climbing a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized 175-lb “victim” all while being timed. Of the five individual times, the three fastest are added to reach the team’s score. Peterson ran the course in 1:42 finishing in second place overall. Miokovic finished in 2:06 earning the “Greenhorn” Award for the fastest time for a first-time competitor.
The website address for information regarding the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge® is www.firefighterchallenge.com