CBS 11 Reporter Gears Up & Takes The Firefighter Combat Challenge

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ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Arlington is setting up the obstacle course for a regional, firefighter combat challenge. The competition is a timed, physical challenge that runs firefighters through a rigorous course in full firefighting gear including air tanks.

“This goes to your shoulder, up to the top,” said Arlington firefighter Adam Evans as he hoisted a bundled section of fire house weighing 42 pounds to his shoulder.

“Five stories!” he shouted as he began running up the metal staircase taking two steps at a time while also pulling himself up with his right hand gripping the handrail.

The tower is the first of five challenges designed to simulate rigorous firefighting skills. Once to the top of tower the firefighter then hoists a forty pound roll of hose from the ground to the top of the tower on a rope. Then it’s back down the tower where a nine pound mallet is used to move a steel cylinder weighing more than 150 pounds.

“Then we run through these delineators,” Evans said, pointing at cylinders marking a winding foot course. “And then Drag the hose 75 feet!”

The fire hose is full of water and gets heavier the further you go. At the end of the run the firefighter must accurately spray water before heading to the final challenge: Dragging a 175-pound dummy 60 feet. By this time, the firefighter’s body is near exhaustion, the legs numb from fatigue and upper body muscles burning.

“Its called the toughest two minutes in sports,” Evans said. “I’ve run marathons. I’ve played sports my whole life. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

“We’ve been called industrial, professional athletes. I mean, we’ve been held to that high a standard for physical fitness.”

The competition this weekend is free to the public and starts at 2pm on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday. There is also a free area for kids to try their skills at firefighting activities like spraying a small fire hose.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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