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Peterson Space Observer

Firefighters blaze through regional qualifier

Senior Airman John Dannen, Staff Sgt. Nick Hall, Staff Sgt. Brian Burmeister, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Welch, Staff Sgt. Joe Absher, and Senior Airman Chris Ingle.

Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department firefighters earned accolades by placing second in the relay portion and second in individual as a team portion of the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, a regional qualifier competition held in Tucson, Ariz, June 16. From left to right: Senior Airman John Dannen, Staff Sgt. Nick Hall, Staff Sgt. Brian Burmeister, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Welch, Staff Sgt. Joe Absher, and Senior Airman Chris Ingle.

By Thea Skinner

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

Six Peterson firefighters participated in the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, a regional qualifier competition, in Tucson, Ariz. June 16. The team placed second in the relay portion and second in individual as a team.

The challenge began about 10 years ago to test firefighter’s skills, and the course has remained the same each year. The course is similar to regularly occurring training situations involving exercises like running up a set of stairs to place items in a bucket and hauling a 115 pound dummy.

“It is a demanding course,” said Staff Sergeant Brian Burmeister, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, of the challenge.

If the team does not complete the course within six minutes, then the team does not qualify for “worlds,” the next level of competition, Sergeant Burmeister said.

“It’s our first regional of this year,” he said. “We have some new guys on the team and are looking sharp. We have trained for four months with this particular team.”

Training involves a fitness regime that includes cardio and weight training exercises.

The challenge involved individual and team courses such as a tandem and relay. The tandem is two members running half of the course each; the relay involves each member performing one evolution of the course in it’s entirety for the fastest time; and the team portion combined the fastest three individual timed runs together.

Senior Airman John Dannen, 21st CES firefighter, received the Green Horn Award by finishing as the fastest individual in his first individual course.“It is a great award, but I was more happy that we won first as a team,” Airman Dannen said. “Every off day spent on the course didn’t hurt. Each time someone is on the course for the first time, it will humble you in a very extreme way.”

The team will attend world competitions in November. Peterson Firefighters will also compete with more than 100 participants at Rumble in the Rockies, another regional competition, June 26 and 27 at the Air Force Academy Falcon Stadium. For more information visit Firefighterchallenge.com.

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