Firefighters complete first day of Firefighter Combat Challenge

Competitors must climb a 5 story building, hoist, chop, drag hose, and rescue a 175 pound victim.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — After a decade, a challenge that’s been called “the toughest two minutes in sports” by ESPN is back in Rapid City.

The thirtieth anniversary of the firefighter combat challenge was in full swing as around 30 to 40 participants from all around the region participated — completing a series of tasks.

Competitors must climb a 5 story building, hoist, chop, drag hose, and rescue a 175 pound victim.

Its a two-day event that was organized by the Ellsworth Firefighter Combat Challenge Team.

Three decades ago, the event was made for physical fitness testing for firefighters, who say their competitiveness drove it to become what it is today.

“They set the standards, they set up what they had to do and said ‘ok, do it in six minutes’,” Captain Bill Cina, of the Ellsworth Fire Combat Team said. “Well, firefighters by nature are somewhat competitive, if you do it in four minutes, I’m going to do my darnedest to get it in under four minutes and from  there competition just blew up.”

The event continues Sunday with relay and tandem races.

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