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Firefighters test their strength in national contest
Men, women to compete in Firefighter Combat Challenge on Aug. 14-15 in Flowery Branch
Firefighters from across the Southeast will compete against each other as individuals and as a team during the Firefighter Combat Challenge this weekend in Flowery Branch.

Firefighter Combat Challenge

When: 5 p.m. Aug. 14 and 10 a.m. Aug. 15

Where: 5855 Spout Springs Road, in the Stonebridge Village parking lot

Cost: Free for spectators, including a kids’ obstacle course

More info:

The heat index is sure to continue soaring as firefighters from across the country will converge for the Hall County Firefighter Combat Challenge this weekend.

The event, part of a national series of events designed to challenge first responders, consists of individual, team and relay events.

“This is the first time me and a lot of these guys have ever competed in this,” said Seth Satterfield, a Hall County firefighter with Station 5 in Flowery Branch. “It’s pretty much like an obstacle course, almost. There’s different portions that you can complete.”

The challenge has been featured on ESPN and the ABC program “Extreme Weight Loss.”

According to the event website,, competitors wear full gear while simulating the “physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks including climbing the five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound ‘victim.’”

“We’re trying to train for it the best we can,” Satterfield said. “We don’t have that much experience with (the event) yet, but we’re hoping this kind of sparks our ... further interest in it for us, and for other people as well.”

Fellow Hall County firefighter Marlana Crews, who works at Station 14 in the Hoschton area, is also training for the event.

“I love my job,” she said. “I take so much pride in being able to keep up with the guys. I just wanted to push myself.”

The Hall County challenge begins 5 p.m. Aug. 14, with the individual and team competition. Activities will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, with the relay and tandem competition. The event is a qualifier for the world championship.

All events will take place in the Stonebridge Village parking lot, 5855 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch. Spectators can watch for free and children may compete in a kid’s challenge Saturday.

For more information, visit