Niagara Gazette

Communities

June 24, 2013

Firefighters meet the challenge for the SPCA of Niagara

Niagara Gazette — In oppressive heat and high humidity, the Scott Safety Firefighter Combat Challenge lived up to its reputation.

Dubbed the "toughest two minutes in sports" during its days as a broadcast staple on ESPN, the challenge was all that and more in the parking lot of the former Summit Park Mall on Saturday and Sunday. The challenge was part of the Pets and Paws Jamboree, a fundraiser for the SPCA of Niagara.

It was the competition's first visit to Western New York and organizers were pleased with they found.

"We did pretty well, really," Combat Challenge Marketing Manager Michael DeGrandprie said. "The local teams did great. We don't get this far north very often. We hoped for a good showing from Canada and we got that, so we're very pleased."

Canadian firefighter teams and individuals did exceptionally well. A Hamilton, Ont., firefighter turned in the second fastest individual course time in this year's competitions. 

The Niagara Falls, Ont. Fire Department team, which had never competed in a team relay before, finished an impressive second.

In all, 54 individual firefighters and 20 department teams took part in the challenge. The challenge promotes and showcases the talents, skills and athleticism of firefighters in a competition that simulates what are described as the “essential skills” of firefighting. 

Traveling to more than 20 locations across the U.S. every year, the firefighters who complete wear full turn-out gear and an air pack and carry that 75 pounds of gear as they climb a five-story tower, drag and use fire hoses, pull a 175-pound dummy and simulate breaking through the roof of a building.

"Everything, even the heat and humidity here, simulates what firefighters face when they fight a fire," DeGrandprie said. "These guys are incredible. They are akin to world class athletes."

If you question that, DeGrandprie pointed out that one firefighter in the competition went up and down the five story, with his 75 pounds of gear, in under 35 seconds.

Challenge officials said they are already in talks to bring the competition back to the Falls, perhaps as soon as next year.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Communities
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page