Memphis Fire Team Places Second in National Firefighter Challenge Race

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Bluff City Combat, a team comprised of nine members of the Memphis Fire Department, took home second place in the annual National Firefighter Challenge over the weekend.

Every year, fire departments from across the country send their best to compete in grueling challenges and intense obstacle courses. The race they won starts out with sprinting up several stories of stairs with hundreds of pounds of gear attached while carrying a 50-pound hose, getting to the top, setting it at the platform, and running back down.

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Memphis firefighters Michael Coleman and Eric Shumaker are two of the racers who joined “Wake Up Memphis” to talk about their time competing.

Shumaker noted that all the gear they have to use in the races is the same equipment necessary in real-time crises.

“When you see guys from the Memphis Fire Department like downtown making a high-rise call, that’s what we’re wearing,” he said.

The rest of the relay continues with a Keiser force machine, which is meant to simulate chopping through a roof, where they have to grab a sledgehammer and hit it back six feet.

Afterwards, they run through a serpentine course while tagging their partner in to grab a hose and sprint towards a target to blast water at it. To finish the race they grab a “Rescue Randy” doll that weighs 175 pounds, dragging him to the finish line.

Bluff City Combat finished the relay in less than 40 seconds.

Both firefighters were pleased with their time competing in the national race and laughed when they mentioned what Memphis Fire posted on their Facebook page: “They didn’t want that smoke”.







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