Firefighters Compete in Combat Challenge World Finals

Starting today , the Montgomery Fire Department is competing to prove that they’re one of the finest forces in the world! And the Capital City is once again hosting the Firefighter Challenge World Finals. For the fourth time, Montgomery is hosting the event, and the year-long competition will end this weekend. The best of the best are in Montgomery to display their fitness and endurance.

“It promotes firefighter physical fitness, because the majority of the line of duty deaths refer to the health side of the firefighter. So we wanted a way to make it fun, to make members of the department motivated,” Assistant Fire Chief of the Montgomery Fire and Rescue Russell Collier said.

Firefighters from more than twenty states and at least nine different countries are competing head to head this week.

“It takes a lot of time, especially during training. We’ve done at least five times a week,” New Zealand competitor Kyle Gardiner said.

Competitors must complete a course that features a five-story stair climb, dragging a hose, and “rescuing” a 175 pound dummy- all while dressed in full firefighter gear.

“We really focus on nutrition, recovery. It’s just a lifestyle. We changed our lifestyle to stay fit for the job, and it’s just one way to take it to a sport level,” Canadian competitor Katherine Ross said.

While the event is about competition, firefighters tell us it’s also about a brotherhood.. And it takes working together on the course to save lives on the job.

“We all do the same job across the globe, but the sense of family and the high-fives and the hugs that you know, people just seeing each other. They’re reuniting here that they haven’t seen since worlds last year. It’s just a great feeling and it’s a great economic impact for the city as well- a lot of these hotels are full, they’re eating at our restaurants, so its a good thing for the city,” Captain Jason Cupps of the Montgomery Fire and Rescue said.

The event is free and open to the public all week. There will be a kid-friendly course and inflatables in Saturday.
The finals stage is set for Friday and Saturday.

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