Firefighters, MPs take on skills challenge
Spc. Guillermo Hang, Fort Rucker military firefighter, drags a 200-pound practice dummy more than 200 feet during a firefighter skills challenge Dec. 4 at the firefighter training grounds on Tank Hill Road. Members of the Fort Rucker fire department and military police competed for pride and trophies during the event.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker firefighters and military police officers work well together every day, but that doesnAca,!a,,ct mean they wonAca,!a,,ct compete with each other given the right challenge.

Installation firefighters issued a firefighters skills challenge to the 6th MP Detachment and it was answered Dec. 4 at the firefighters training area on Tank Hill Road.

The friendly competition consisted of three- to four-man teams performing a series of operations in full firefighter gear including coats, full air tanks, hats and masks, said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Mattson, noncommissioned officer in charge of military firefighters.

Participants had to carry two heavy hoses, one at a time, up a long series of steps before passing a baton off to the next person who then hoisted a 50 pound weighted bag up three stories by rope. The next person had to hammer a large weight across a metal slide using a sledgehammer before moving through a set of cones.

The final stages of the challenge involved pulling a hose more than 200 feet and spraying a target with water and then dragging a 200-pound life-like dummy 200 feet in the opposite direction.

Teams had to go through three rounds of eliminations before a winner was determined, Mattson added.

Aca,!A"This really gave the firefighters and MPs a chance to unwind and have fun,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cd love to see even more people get involved in this event in the future.Aca,!A?

Eight teams competed against one another for trophies and bragging rights, but only one team could take the top prize.

The team of Sgt. Cleveland Brasington and Pfcs. Scott Eich and Matthew Rayfield, all military firefighters, completed the course with a time of 1 minute 56 seconds.

Aca,!A"We never really got together for practice before this,Aca,!A? Brasington said. Aca,!A"It was amazing how everything just came together.Aca,!A?

Each member of the top team picked certain jobs to do during the initial run and decided to stick to it rather than change it up for the second and third time through.

Aca,!A"That was the key to winning,Aca,!A? Rayfield said. Aca,!A"Other teams were changing it up to give everybody a chance to try each thing, but we decided against that. That way, everybody knew what they had to do and how to do it.Aca,!A?

Some participants also competed in the solo portion of the event. Each individual had to run the entire course by themselves.

While the top team was all firefighters, the MPs didnAca,!a,,ct walk away empty-handed.

Sgt. Joshua Powell, 6th MP Det., finished the course in 2:17.

Page last updated Wed December 8th, 2010 at 16:42