The Firefighter Combat Challenge is a nationwide tour that pits teams of firefighters from across the country against one other to see who's the strongest, fastest, and fittest among them.
On Saturday at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., some of the best teams from the area and as far as California took part in the second of two days of competition. CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman was on hand as part of his Road Trip 2009 project.
The contest has several stages. It begins with a race up a tall tower of stairs while carrying a heavy section of folded-up hose. At the top of the tower, the contestants must hoist up a donut roll of hose on a rope and then race down to the bottom. After that, they simulate breaking into a building by using a mallet to move a weight, run through an obstacle course to pick up a hose, run back pulling it, then break through a barrier, turn on the hose, aim the stream of water at a target and finally lift a dummy and carry it all the way across the course to the finish line.
Each competition--the contest was off next to Seattle--crowns regional winners and the best will meet at the national, and then, world championships.
Here, a competitor lugs the dummy toward the finish line.
These are the folded-hose pack and the donut roll of hose that the contestants must bring to the top of the tower. They must carry the hose pack with them as they run up the steps, and then they must hoist up the donut roll with a rope.