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Local firefighters impress in skills competition

Firefighters from two local fire departments competed and placed in the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge Regionals this past weekend in Montgomery, Ala.
Carriere Volunteer Fire Department’s “Team Carriere” and Pearl River County’s “On Fire for God” both sent relay teams to compete in the Over 40 division of the challenge. “Team Carriere” placed third overall, and “On Fire for God” finished first.
“It’s a great team building experience for mixed age firefighters, from a 16-year-old cadet to a guy my age,” said Carriere Fire Department volunteer firefighter Jim Dischinger.
The relay challenge consists of five events designed to test the firefighters’ physical abilities and skills in a timed race against another team. All competitors are in full gear, including the breathing apparatus worn on the back, and the events are designed to simulate the strenuous challenges firefighters face in real life situations.
Both teams qualified for the combat challenge nationals, which will take place this coming weekend in Tyler, Texas. Their times were also fast enough to qualify them for the World Championship in Phoenix, Ariz. this November.
According to the rules posted on the website, the first eve

GEARED UP: Local firefighters must wear full gear while competing in the Fiirefighter Combat Challenge Photo by Jim Dischinger

GEARED UP: Local firefighters must wear full gear while competing in the Fiirefighter Combat Challenge
Photo by Jim Dischinger

nt is the high-rise pack carry, in which firefighters must carry a 42-pound hose pack up a 5-story tower. In the next event, competitors must hoist a hose from the ground to the top platform of the tower where they are standing. Next is the forcible entry event, which uses a machine that is designed to simulate chopping. Competitors must use a nine-pound mallet to strike a 160-pound sled until it has moved five feet.
In the fourth event, firefighters must carry a charged hose through a 140-foot slalom course before dragging the hose another 75 feet and opening the nozzle to spray a target. Finally, there is the victim rescue event, in which the competitor must drag a 175-pound dummy 106 feet without grabbing its clothes or appendages. When the mannequin’s heels cross the finish line, the relay is over, and the team with the fastest time wins.
The members of “Team Carriere” are Jason Mitchell, Michael Smith, Michael Jackson, Tom Henery and Jim Dischinger. The team was sponsored by Dub Herring Ford, Inc. in Picayune.
The members of “On Fire for God” are Steve Seal, Chris Banks, Ronnie Reynolds, Tony Scharenbroch and Donny Leonard.