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Families Invited to Watch as KFD Teams Compete in Firefighter Challenge 
It's nicknamed "the toughest 2 minutes in sports." On Saturday, May 12, three teams of Knoxville firefighters will compete against each other - and the clock.

The Firefighter Challenge will be one of the highlights of the Fire Department's first Training Exhibition, a community event that will feature firefighting and rescue demonstrations, as well as free hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream and soda for visiting families.

The exhibition will take place from 3-9 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Fire Department's Training Facility, 3411 Vice Mayor Jack Sharp Road. A free shuttle will ferry people back and forth between the training site and a parking lot at Prosser Road and Knoxville Zoo Drive.

"In the 1970s, KFD regularly offered fire demonstrations, and there had also been a Firefighter Appreciation Picnic," said Fire Chief Stan Sharp. "So this May 12 Firefighting Exhibition is both a resurrection and a combination of several traditions."

There will be plenty of archived photos and memorabilia from KFD's archives.

Visitors can watch as firefighters demonstrate vehicle extrication techniques, using the "Jaws of Life" and other tools on junked cars brought in for the exhibition.

And they'll be able to watch firefighters demonstrate High Angle Rescue techniques using ropes and rappelling gear. First Responders sometimes rely on this training when rescuing someone in a tree, on a utility pole or on the side of a cliff.

But the drama of the day might very well be the Firefighter Challenge, an international timed competition that simulates and accentuates skills used in battling fires and rescuing victims.

Competitors in full firefighting gear run up the stairs of a tower, hoist coiled fire hoses, then run back down. They sling sledgehammers to move a bar. They maneuver an obstacle course. They drag a hose, then aim the water to knock down a target. And then they drag a 180-pound dummy 100 feet to the finish line.

"It's a very strenuous competition," Chief Sharp said. "We'll have one team from each shift competing in the challenge, and there will be bragging rights involved for whichever team finishes with the fastest time. There will be a 'Chief's Award' as well. You win something this rigorous, you deserve a trophy."

Posted by evreeland On 07 May, 2018 at 1:31 PM