Competition tests USAFE firefighters

Emily Reagan
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***It’s called “the toughest two minutes in sports” for a reason.

The athletes run stairs with a high raise pack, hoist hoses, simulate forcible entries and drag 185 pounds a distance of 100 feet … and they do it all while wearing their full firefighter gear.

Every year U.S. Air Forces in Europe firefighters gather at Ramstein to show their grit at the USAFE Firefighter Challenge. This year the firefighters participated in the five-event competition held Saturday at the USAFE Fire Academy located outside the west gate.

Those who finished in a time under 1 minute 50 seconds, qualified to compete in the world championship at Deerfield Beach, Fla. in November.
“The caliber of competitors this year was amazing. The average time last year was 1 minute 50 seconds, this year it was 1 minute 40 seconds,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Higgins, USAFE Fire Academy instructor and official during the challenge. “These are the top five fastest times I’ve seen come out of USAFE yet and this course is slower so when they go to the world’s they’ll be a little faster.”

***image2***There were five categories that individuals and teams competed in – fastest individuals, top teams, fastest individual 26 and under, fastest individual over 26, and fastest chief. Top performers in the categories were as follows:

Top five fastest individuals
Cory McGee, Spangdahlem – 1 minute, 33 seconds
Jody Hack, Ramstein A – 1 minute, 41 seconds
Zachary Causey, Ramstein A – 1 minute, 43 seconds
Daniel Young, Ramstein A – 1 minute, 43 seconds
Tim Bjorsik, Ramstein A – 1 minute, 47 seconds

***image3***Top teams
First place – Ramstein A
Second place – Spangdahlem
Third place – Ramstein B
Fastest individual 26 and under
Jody Hack, Ramstein Team A – 1 minute, 41 seconds
Fastest individual over 26
Cory McGee, Spangdahlem – 1 minute, 33 seconds

Fastest chief
Michael Cavaliero, Spangdahlem – 2 minutes, 18 seconds