By Laurie Wilson, U.S. Air Force Academy
/ Published November 02, 2018
Air Force Academy firefighters assigned to the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron again doused their competition to take the “World’s Best” title at the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge XXVII Worlds Oct. 27 in Sacramento, California.
The Over-40 Relay team of firefighters, Hans Barkley, Roy Dalton, Anthony McMurtry, Patrick Kraft, and Fire Chief Ken Helgerson were named World Champions for the second year in a row, logging a time of 1:11, one second off their world record and 10 seconds ahead of the second place team.
Helgerson also won as a member of the Over-50 Relay Championship combined team, taking an individual first place in that category for the second time. The Over-50 team is comprised of firefighters from different departments as there is a small number of competitors in that age group.
“I don't think anyone has won in that relay category more than once, and this is my second year in a row to win it,” Helgerson said.
The Open Division relay team of Roy Dalton, Hans Barkley, Staff Sgt. Rodriguez Hernandez, Senior Airman Richard Cabrera and Airman 1st Class Jon Donaldson won four races to finish in the Top 8 overall. This was Cabrera’s first time competing with the Academy team.
“It was great to have the help of championship mentors coaching me and making me ready to keep this legacy of winning going,” said Cabrera. “It was awesome.”
Helgerson said the competition measures a firefighters capacity to do their often arduous job as quickly and proficiently as possible.
The competition obstacle course is a timed, five-event exercise requiring firefighters in various categories to simulate real world firefighting and victim rescue while racing to set the lowest time. The Challenge is part of an effort to keep firefighters fit, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The 10th CES’s 68 firefighters have dominated this competition with a string of championships since 2002, making them an international powerhouse against some of the world’s largest departments.
Visit www.firefighterchallenge.com for more information on the competition.