GRAND ISLAND – The Firefighter Combat Challenge (FCC), described as the toughest two minutes in sports will be featured at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair on September 5 and 6.
Grand Island Firefighter and FCC co-organizer, Jared Stockwell says, “The Firefighter Combat Challenge was the brainchild of Dr. Paul Davis and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, nearly 40-years ago. The original goal was firefighter fitness. It didn’t take long to see that firefighters are very competitive, so the combat challenge was born.”
Grand Island Firefighter and co-organizer Lonnie Mitteis says, “Both Jared and I have participated in the Combat Challenge in other cities and it is by far and away an absolute test of endurance. It’s a test for participants to race against themselves, their opponents and the clock. It’s a great sport for participants and an even greater event to watch, and that’s why we’re holding the event during the Nebraska State Fair’s busiest weekend.”
The Firefighter Combat Challenge features five grueling events:
1. Tower Climb/Hose Pack Carry—Carry a 100-foot, 44-pound hose load on your shoulder up 63 steps to the top of the five-story tower.
2. Hose Hoist—From the top of the tower, haul a rope hand-over-hand to bring up a 45-pound hose roll. Then hurry back down 5-stories of steps.
3. Entry—Using a 9-pound mallet, drive a 160-pound steel beam 5-feet, simulating skills needed to force your way into a building. Then, fast-walk 140 feet to the hose advance.
4. Advance—Pickup a fully charged fire hose and drag it 75 feet. Open the nozzle, spray a target, close the nozzle and place it in a marked box. Walk 30-feet to the final task.
5. Victim Rescue—Drag the 165-pound “Rescue Randy” dummy 100 feet to the finish line.
Nebraska State Fair executive director Joseph McDermott says, “We’ve been working for the past few years to bring the Firefighter Combat Challenge to the State Fair, and thanks to both Lonnie and Jared, it has become a reality.” McDermott continued, “We anticipate a large number of firefighter athletes to participate because of Grand Island’s central location in the nation.”
The Firefighter Combat Challenge is typically held in major metropolitan areas like Daytona Beach, Indianapolis, Atlantic City, Seattle, L.A., Phoenix, among others. Both Stockwell and Mitteis anticipate a great field of firefighters from around the nation and Canada to converge on Grand Island to participate in this test of firefighter skill and endurance.