SEDRO-WOOLLEY — In the hot sun Saturday, firefighters in full gear demonstrated to a crowd some of the skill needed for their job, including forcible entry, hauling hose and removing victims from a fire.
Volunteer firefighters from Sedro-Woolley Fire Department stations 1 and 2, and Clear Lake Fire Department (Skagit County Fire District 4) competed against each other on a course that tested their stamina and speed.
The annual Firefighter Combat Challenge is part of Loggerodeo and raises funds for the Sedro-Woolley Firefighters Association, said Zeke Culbertson, a firefighter with station 1.
Among the tasks, competitors used a sledge hammer to chop a device called a Kesier sled, which simulates knocking down a door, and dragging a 170-pound dummy “victim” across the course.
The Clear Lake team of Lt. Eric Warner, Dalton Friend, Erik Rodela and David Scott won the competition in a time of 1 minute, 54 seconds.
Warner said as trained firefighters ready to respond on a moment’s notice, the hardest part of the competition is waiting for the whistle to blow at the start.
“(Volunteers) have to be as ready as professionals,” he said.
Scott said the best part is taking the title as the neighboring fire department to Sedro-Woolley.
Later that day, the crowd gathered to watch an emergency medical airlift helicopter land across the street, and visit with the flight paramedic and nurses.
Loggerodeo events continue through July 4.