Center Point Fire District firefighters are scheduled to compete in the SCOTT Firefighter Combat Challenge which is being held in Montgomery, Alabama this June 17th and 18th.  This event is a nationwide competition that tests the physical fitness and stamina of thousands of firefighters every year. Team members include Lonnie West, Adrian Millican, Christian Elliott, Troy Gibson, Matt Bradley, Michael Lombard and Brandon Dahlen, all members of the Center Point Fire District.  The team has been practicing vigorously for months to compete in this event that ESPN refers to as ‘The Toughest Two Minutes in Sports’. 


The team is divided up into 2 competitive groups, a two member tandem team and five member relay team. 

As they race against themselves, their opponents and the clock, each firefighter—wearing 50 pounds of gear, including a SCOTT breathing apparatus (air pack)—starts with an additional 42-pound house pack (sometimes called an "high-rise pack," a set of pre-connected hoses used to fight fires in multistory hotels and apartments) on his shoulder and has to run up steps to the top of a five-story tower. Once at the top of the stairs, each firefighter will reach over a railing and use a rope to haul up another hose pack, this one weighing 42 pounds. Next, each firefighter will run back down the stairs—touching each one—and pick up a 9 pound sledgehammer to use on what's called a "kaiser machine," a metal track with a 160-pound block on it.  The firefighters have to use the sledgehammer to drive the block at least five feet.  Firefighters then run through a 140 feet slalom course and grab a fully charged hose, drag it 75 feet and shoot the spray at a small target. Finally, firefighters must drag a 175-pound mannequin 100 feet.  

Since 1991, Firefighter Combat Challenge events have been held for hundreds of U.S. and Canadian firefighters who compete at several locations throughout the year in fitness events and demonstrate the profession’s rigors to the public. Today, the Firefighter Combat Challenge is one of many standardized tests used by most fire departments to screen applicants.  But some fire departments are also using it to make sure that their firefighters remain physically fit for the job.