10th CES firefighters to compete in championship

Firefighters from the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department douse a structure during a fire-response exercise at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Academy firefighters will compete in the Firefighter Would Championship beginning Oct. 24, 2016 in Montgomery, Alabama. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez)

Firefighters from the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department douse a structure during a fire-response exercise at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Academy firefighters will compete in the Firefighter Would Championship beginning Oct. 24, 2016 in Montgomery, Alabama. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

First responders at the Air Force Academy are gearing up for the Firefighter World Championship next week in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

The annual competition pits firefighters from around the world against each other in a series of timed trials, including a five-story tower climb and hoisting a 175-pound rescue dummy.

 

“It’s been deemed the toughest two minutes in sports,” said Academy Fire Chief Ken Helgerson.

Helgerson, and firefighters Roy Dalton, Bill Gates and Anthony McMurtry are scheduled to compete in the weeklong challenge beginning Oct. 24.

 

“It’s is a great way to refine our firefighting skills and maintain a level of fitness that improves our firefighting capacity,” Helgerson said.

 

Last year at the championship, Gates took 21st-place in a field of 200 firefighters in the individual event. The 10th CES Fire Department’s Over-40 relay team took second place with a three person-team in a competition where all other teams fielded five-person teams.

 

Col. Eric Rollman, commander of the 10th CES, expects the team to excel.

 

"Our firefighters did extremely well last year,” he said. “They have a long record of excellence, whether protecting our community or grabbing top slots at these competitions. I wish them the best at the World Championships -- I know they'll show the competition the tenacity and caliber of our firefighters.”