Firefighters Prepare for "Combat Challenge" - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Firefighters Prepare for "Combat Challenge"

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MISSOULA - This holiday weekend, dozens of firefighters from as far away as Canada will converge in Missoula for a test of physical strength and stamina.

The Missoula team has been training for the Firefighter Combat Challenge for the past six weeks.

It's a challenge that requires speed, agility and brute strength.
 
Firefighter combat challenges take place all over the country, and are meant to simulate physical challenges firefighters encounter on the job.

And it all starts with a sprint.

"It's four flights up, 45-pound hose pack on your shoulder, you raise a 45-pound donut hose, then you sprint down the tower to the sled," said Missoula firefighter and competitor Justin Walsh.

Then competitors move a 165-pound sled five feet using a 9-pound hammer.

"Then you run through the cones and hose, you pick up an inch and three-quarter charge hose, you drag it to the target, knock the target down," Walsh said.

And finally, a 175-pound dummy drag 100 feet across the finish line-- the leg of the race I wasn't quite able to complete.

"Just to keep your body and mind engaged in the job and make it a challenge, keep yourself fit at a high level."

Walsh said in order to compete at the national level, his team finds time to work out every day, and run through their practice course twice a week.

"Everybody's pretty darn physically fit in this department and we just capitalize on that and fine tune it into running the challenge."

The Missoula Firefighter Combat Challenge kicks off on Friday at 1 p.m. on West Pine Street in front of Sean Kelly's with the individual competition.

The team competition takes place on Saturday.

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