Watch firefighters compete this weekend
EVERETT - This weekend you can catch firefighters competing to be fastest in their field.
Top firefighters will show their strength at the SCOTT Firefighter Combat Challenge, but the event will offer fun for the whole family, including a bouncy house.
Kids ages 4 to 11 can put on gear and try scaled-down versions of the same challenges. The Everett Fire Department will be bringing modern-day rigs and six antique fire engines to the challenge for viewing.
The SCOTT Firefighter Combat Challenge is free. The event starts at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 and ramps up again at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. The kids’ competition is Saturday at 11 a.m. The challenge will be at the Port of Everett, 1205 Craftsman Way.
Eric Studerus, Everett firefighter and paramedic, is “stoked” for the challenge. Studerus has participated in about 25 challenges in the past decade and helped organize the Everett event.
Combat Challenges are regional events, but the last one held in this state was in 2009 in North Bend. The challenges used to be on ESPN in the late ’90s.
Competitors take on the clock in five challenges, including carrying a fire hose up a five-story tower.
The Combat Challenge originated from a firefighter hiring model in the 1970s. Professor Paul Davis helped develop the model and founded the Combat Challenge in 1991.
Online videos don’t properly show how strenuous the challenge is, Davis said.
The challenge is tough, Studerus said.
“You’re trying to push yourself as hard as you can,” he said.
At least a dozen Snohomish County firefighters will be competing. Studerus expects at least a dozen more participants from the Everett Fire Department.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase our profession,” Studerus said.
Volunteers from the Everett Fire Department and Everett Community College’s fire science program were key to making the event happen, Studerus said.
Snohomish County expects a $250,000 economic boost in direct spending, and the extra exposure could generate up to $3 million more for the local economy, county sports tourism marketing director Tammy Dunn said.
The county gave a $21,000 grant to get the combat challenge to come, Studerus said.
Parking is free. The port recommends people park in the gravel lot near the Fisherman’s Tribute statue or near the farmers market, port spokeswoman Lisa Lefeber said.
“This is an extraordinary event with extraordinary people and I think anyone who watches this comes away with a new appreciation for firefighters,” Davis said.
For more information, visit the website www.everettfirefighterchallenge.com.
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