Firefighters from Fort Gordon were able to sit back and relax with friends and family Saturday while celebrating the wins they achieved at the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.
A group of nearly 30 people met at the Pizza Joint in Evans to watch television coverage of the challenge.
A round of cheers broke out at 3 p.m. in a corner section where three televisions were set to broadcast the event.
"It feels good," said Marcus Peterson, a member of the firefighter combat team. "This is the first time we've won any world championships, so it's the first time we see ourselves on national TV winning something."
The Combat Challenge took place in November in Las Vegas, with teams competing from around the world.
The event is designed to showcase the skills that firefighters must perform in their professions.
Matt Williams, Brandon Cunningham, Marcus Peterson, Anthony Dobbins and Jeffrey Phillips formed the five-man team that won first place in the team-relay event.
Cunningham repeated his title as male individual world champion and won first place in the tandem event with Byron McDonald.
"I felt a lot of pressure to repeat, so it felt good," Cunningham said.
The team earned trophies and plaques that will be kept at the station at Fort Gordon. They also will receive championship rings.
Peterson and Williams, the assistant chief of the fire department, described the importance of the competition.
"Winning that accomplishment meant the world to us," Peterson said.
Williams said the team began competing in the event in 2003 and said he was ecstatic when his team won.
The segment, which had been broadcast on ESPN, aired on VERSUS sports network this year. The hourlong program began at 3 p.m., but some firemen, along with their friends and family, started gathering in the restaurant by 2 p.m. and stayed after the telecast.
The team also celebrated their victory before Saturday.
"We were in Vegas," Cunningham said, smiling. "We celebrated."
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