Firefighter Combat Challenge this weekend

Truth file photo Firefighters compete in a previous Firefighter Combat Challenge in Elkhart. The event comes back this Friday and Saturday on High Street in downtown Elkhart.

ELKHART — Firefighters from around the country will put on a show and compete in downtown Elkhart July 12-13 in the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.

The two-day family friendly event at High Street by the Civic Plaza will be a regional qualifier for the national competition, which will be in Florida later this year.

The challenge will begin Friday at 5 p.m. with a special Guns N’ Hoses challenge between members of the Elkhart Police and Fire departments.

The victors of this friendly competition will receive a trophy and unlimited bragging rights that currently belong to the police department. 

Individual and team competitions will begin immediately following. All competitors will be professional firefighters dressed in full gear. The course includes a linked series of tasks including climbing a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping and dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized 175 pound “victim.” The course is designed to encourage health and wellness and allow the public an opportunity to see first-hand the rigors experienced by firefighters.

In addition to the Firefighter Combat Challenge, the city will also host a Kid’s Firefighter Combat Challenge targeted at children age four to 11, giving them an opportunity to compete alongside their public safety heroes in a similar, but less demanding course. Registration is not required and there is no cost to participate.

The event is free to all spectators and will be Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendors will have food available for purchase at the Civic Plaza.

The Elkhart Fire Department will also host a Superhero Health and Safety Fair at Central Park on Friday starting at 3 p.m. The Fair will feature educational information, prizes, free popcorn and snow cones, children’s activities and a free showing of “Incredibles 2” at 8 p.m.

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