Rookie firefighter combat challenge heats up

Airmen 1st Class Ryan Shell and Sean Flynt, 312th Training Squadron students, prepare themselves for battle during the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 12. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Airmen 1st Class Ryan Shell and Sean Flynt, 312th Training Squadron students, prepare themselves for battle during the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 12. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Each participant in the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 12 wore oxygen packs, which weighed approximately 30 pounds. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Each participant in the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 12 wore oxygen packs, which weighed approximately 30 pounds. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Technical Sergeant Joel Harr and Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Ammon, fire school instructors, record scores during the July 12 Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Technical Sergeant Joel Harr and Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Ammon, fire school instructors, record scores during the July 12 Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Staff Sergeant Christopher Clark, 312th Training Squadron SPINSTRA instructor, races down the stairs during the challenge. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Staff Sergeant Christopher Clark, 312th Training Squadron SPINSTRA instructor, races down the stairs during the challenge. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Colonel Barry Simon, 17th Medical Group commander, drags a hose approximately fifty feet where a target awaits the spray of his hose during the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 18. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

Colonel Barry Simon, 17th Medical Group commander, drags a hose approximately fifty feet where a target awaits the spray of his hose during the Rookie Firefighter Combat Challenge July 18. (U.S. Air FOrce photo by Senior Airman Kamaile Chan)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 312th Training Squadron hosted the 4th Annual Rookie Firefighter Challenge Saturday at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy training grounds here.

Seventeen teams participated in this years challenge, also known as "the toughest two minutes in sports."

The first part of the course requires participants to carry a 45-pound hose up five stories. Once there, another 45-pound hose is hoisted up the five flights. The next leg of the obstacle simulates forceable entry with participants swinging a sledge hammer to a 65-pound block. The final leg of the course requires participants to drag a hose approximately 50 feet aiming for a target ten feet away. A 175-pound dummy awaits the 50-foot drag to the finish line.

The members of the SAM Squad firefighter combat challenge team, Marine Staff Sergeants Charles Ammon and Nicholas Cook, Marine Sgt. William Alexander and Air Force Staff Sergeants William Gates and Kevin Wasiewski, kept a close eye on the participants as they went through each leg of the course.

The top three teams at this year's challenge were--1st Place: Team Rhino (Air Force students), 2nd Place: The Connection (Marine students), and 3rd Place: Army Strong (Army instructors).