Seven local Fort Leonard Wood firefighters competed in the Firefighter Combat Challenge in North Little Rock, Arkansas Sept. 13 and 14.
Firefighters Edward Parker, Daniel Lane, Travis Barnes, Jimmie Jackson, Steven Alvarado, Luke Cotton and Ryan Smith all competed, representing Fort Leonard Wood.
Participants called the contest “the toughest 2 minutes in sports.”
Firefighters competed in an obstacle course in full bunker gear with masks and oxygen tanks strapped to their backs.
They climbed six flights of stairs carrying a 42-pound hose, commonly referred to as a hotel pack and hoisted a 42-pound hose from the top of the six-story structure.
After successful completion, they then descended back down the stairs to the forcible entry challenge, which required competitors to strike a nine-and-a-half-pound sledgehammer on a 160-pound beam.
After sprinting 140 feet to the hose advance, the firefighters proceeded to haul a hose full of water an additional 75 feet.
The event displayed firefighters breaking through multiple doors, opening the hose nozzle and releasing the water on to a small target.
They concluded the contest at the victim rescue event, where they carried a 175-pund dummy victim to safety, across the finish line.
All competitors from Fort Leonard Wood made it through the entire course.
They said they all felt supported in this competition by their fellow firefighters at the station and their families.
(Editor’s note: This article was originally submitted to the GUIDON by Firefighter Edward Parker.)