Firefighters across Texas take on the 'toughest two minutes in s - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Firefighters across Texas take on the 'toughest two minutes in sports'


This weekend, more than 100 East Texas firefighters are competing in a challenge of speed and strength.

The 8th annual Firefighter Combat Challenge is being hosted right here in Tyler. It's part of a national competition that travels across the country.

Friday night, individual firefighters are competing to be named the most fit and the fastest. The course is called the "toughest two minutes in sports" and the competitors agree-- it takes some serious strength and stamina to compete.

From carrying a hose up a tower and hoisting it over to saving "Rescue Randy" and dragging him across the finish line, these tasks must be completed in under two minutes to take the top spot. Though the event is meant to be lighthearted and friendly, the challenge is a competition with a purpose. It shows how physically demanding being a firefighter really is.

"This really is simulating different parts of firefighting that these guys encounter on a daily basis and the serious part comes from...they need these skills to be able to effectively fight fires. So, being in shape and being able to run a course like this really is very helpful for them in everyday situations that they could encounter on the job," explains Michael DeGrandpre, the communications director for the Firefighter Combat Challenge.

Organizers say that the brotherhood of the men and women who run the course is really incredible. Saturday morning at 9:30 they'll kick off the relay competition during which a lot of local firefighters will compete as a team. The team world record for completing the course is one minute and nine seconds. The individual record is one minute and 19 seconds.

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