The 2023 Firefighter Challenge World Championship

MDFR Local 1403 Heads to the 2023 Firefighter World Championship

MDFR Local 1403 at the 2023 Firefighter Challenge World ChampionshipPictured from left to right: Rick Stephens, Rob Sheppard, Erik Vidal, Miguel Yanes, Pete Marrero

The Firefighter Challenge, also known as the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, is a rigorous and physically demanding competition that simulates the tasks and challenges that firefighters often encounter during their duties. This competition was created by Dr. Paul Davis in 1974 as a way to promote fitness and showcase the demanding nature of firefighting.

The Firefighter Challenge typically includes a series of timed tasks that mimic real-life firefighting scenarios. These tasks, or as we call them “evolutions” are performed in full turn out gear and self-contained breathing apparatus throughout the course, adding to the physical strain.

2023 Firefighter Challenge World Championship
Teams from around the world gather at the Arena of the Brave. Photo by Rick Stephens

The Arena of the Brave

  • The start area is at the base of the tower
  • EVOLUTION 1: High-Rise Hose Pack Carry - The rubber jacketed hose load and cover (42 lb.; 19kg) may be carried in any manner and must be deposited into the container at the top of the tower, with no part of the pack touching the deck outside of the box. 
  • EVOLUTION 2: Hose Hoist - A 42lb. (19kg) donut roll of large diameter hose and (15mm) kernmantle rope (nominally weighing 7 lbs.) is used for this event. 
  • EVOLUTION 3: Forcible Entry - The forcible entry evolution utilizes the Keiser Force Machine (a chopping simulator). Using the provided nine-pound (4kg) shot mallet, and with both feet on the diamond plate surface, the competitor must drive the sled, a ≈ 160lb. (72.5kg) steel beam at a horizontal distance of five feet (1.5m). 
  • EVOLUTION 4: Hose Advance - The competitor must negotiate the 140-foot (42.6m) slalom course without missing or knocking over any delineator (including the target); doing so will result in a 5-second penalty for each infraction. The competitor must pick up the nozzle end of the 1 3/4 inch (4.45cm) charged hose line and drag it a total distance of 75 feet (22.8m). Once the nozzle penetrates the swinging doors, the competitor opens the nozzle, hits the target with the water stream, shuts down the nozzle, and drops the nozzle onto the ground padding system between the saloon doors and the target system. 
  • EVOLUTION 5: Victim Rescue - A 175lb. (79.4kg) NASCO, Rescue Randy® mannequin (model 1435 weighing 165lbs dressed in 10lbs. of LION turnout gear) must be lifted and dragged backward at 106 feet (32.3m). Carrying the dummy is not permitted.
2023 World Championship. Photography by Rick Stephens Sports Photography.2023 World Championship. Photography by Rick Stephens Sports Photography.

Over the years, the Firefighter Challenge has grown in popularity and has become a global event, attracting participants from various fire departments worldwide. It serves as a platform for firefighters to test their physical fitness, teamwork, and firefighting skills in a competitive yet supportive environment.

Beyond the physical aspects, the Firefighter Challenge also promotes camaraderie among firefighters and raises awareness about the demanding nature of their profession. It's not only a test of strength and agility but also a tribute to the dedication and bravery of firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect their communities.

2023 Firefighter Challenge World Championship Winners

The Firefighter Challenge has gained recognition not only within the firefighting community but also among the general public, highlighting the incredible athleticism of these first responders. It continues to inspire and motivate both aspiring and experienced firefighters to stay in top physical shape and be prepared for the demanding tasks they may face in the line of duty. 

2023 Firefighter Challenge World ChampionshipPhotography by Chance Craven, Rick Stephens, and Jeffrey W. Jones 


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