There is an excitement around the fire station at Fort Gordon.
"It's awesome that we now have something to strive for, but it puts a lot of pressure being the No. 1 seed, especially when we almost set the world record," said Assistant Fire Chief Matt Williams.
The Fort Gordon Firefighter Combat Challenge team will be in Las Vegas Sunday through Nov. 8 competing in the world championships of the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, an obstacle course of tasks firefighters might encounter on the job.
"Wearing full bunker gear and a breathing apparatus, pairs of competitors simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks, including climbing the five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-size, 175-pound 'victim' as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock," according to the event Web site, www.firefighter-challenge.com.
The Fort Gordon relay team won the national title in Atlanta from among 40 teams the weekend of Oct. 12 and 13 and almost beat the world-record time. In individual categories, Brandon Cunningham, last year's world champion, posted a time of 1:24 to win the nationals in a field of more than 160 firefighters, and Williams placed second in the over-45 age category.
Williams said he expects Mr. Cunningham to do well at the world championships.
"No one has come close to his time. He's been averaging around 1:24. The closest time to his has been 1:28, but anything can happen," he said.
Firefighters from Fort Gordon have competed in the event since 2003. The team did not compete in 2005 because some of its members were deployed to Iraq. Although the fire department is a civilian work force, the firefighters deployed were in the Air Force Reserve.
According to the combat challenge Web site, the event will be televised on the Versus Network, formerly known as OLN.
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