ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - They call it the toughest two minutes in sports.
“The toughest two minutes of sports is no joke. You realize that you’re never in shape enough,” said Seminole County firefighters Jason Cabal.
It’s called the Firefighter Combat Challenge, an obstacle course that pushes firefighters to either step up or get hosed.
“It takes a lot of training to get to the point where you can do this thing in under two minutes,” said Firefighter Combat Challenge president Dr. Paul Davis.
Dr. Davis developed the course years ago as a research project about firefighter fitness because firefighting, he says, is one of the most physically demanding jobs out there.
“Not only you have to take care of yourself with this heavy burdensome overload, but you’ve got to be able to extricate either fellow firefighter or a victim.”
But now it’s a competitive sport. Regionals are happening this week in Orlando at the Rosen Centre. Fifty Orange County firefighters are signed up and so are hundreds more from departments as far away as Texas and Virginia. The firefighters will do it wearing more than 50 pounds of gear in 97 degree heat.
“You have to do every task. And you can’t stop. You have to finish every task and of course you’re going for as fast as possible. In the fire service you can’t stop,” said Cabal.
But for some of these firefighters, it’s more than just physical.
“It gives you a way to kind of cope. You get done with the shift...it gives a really good way to kind of get the stress of the day out.”
People can stop by and practice all week, including the general public. The official competition kicks off Friday at noon.