On Saturday Oct. 15 beginning at 9 a.m., the El Paso Fire Department Training Academy will be hosting the local Firefighter Combat Challenge, a tough, head-to-head competition designed to simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting.
Wearing full gear and breathing apparatus, area firefighters perform a series of five tasks: climbing a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-lb. dummy in a race against themselves, their opponents and the clock.
ESPN sports network calls the competition “the toughest two minutes in sports.” Kip Hall, the El Paso Firefighter who is honored in the local competition, called it “the meat and potatoes of firefighting.”
Hall served in the U.S. Army and then served in the El Paso Fire Department for nine years until his untimely death in 2007. Hall competed in the grueling obstacle course himself from 1998 to 2007.
On Oct. 28, 2014, City Council unanimously approved naming a park in east El Paso in his memory. Proceeds from this event will go toward the purchasing of the signage for the park.
The Combat Challenge annually attracts hundreds of U.S. and Canadian municipal fire departments at more than 25 locations and is now expanding to countries around the world, including New Zealand, Germany, Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
Who: Various teams from area fire departments
What: Kip Hall Memorial Combat Challenge
Where: EPFD Training Academy, 6800 Delta
When: Saturday Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.