Following Hall County Fire Services’ first Firefighter Combat Challenge Aug. 14-15 in Flowery Branch, the department set its sights on a world finals competition in October and hosting a national competition next year.
After the department’s third-place finish in the team event at the combat challenge, Deputy Fire Chief Chad Black said the team hopes to find sponsors to keep it going.
The turnout at the event prompted discussion between Hall County and the combat challenge organizers about returning to Northeast Georgia.
“They were very excited with how Hall County welcomed everybody and the great turnout, so looking at next year, they’ve asked and we’ve accepted to hopefully host the nationals here, which would be a three-day event,” Black said.
The team qualifying for the world finals includes Battalion Chief Rob Sanders, Lt. BJ Williams, Sgt. Seth Satterfield, Sgt. Kevin Anderson and firefighter/EMT Adrian Hamilton.
The World Challenge XXIV for the combat challenge will take place Oct. 19-24 in downtown Montgomery, Ala.
Black said the goal is about $4,000-$5,000 to be able to go to Montgomery, covering the expenses for transportation and taking equipment to the challenge.
Throughout the year, the combat challenge puts on 18 different events.
“We would like for them, outside of just the one in Hall County, to be able to go to a few more places, to practice and get better each time and represent the county at those locations,” Black said.
For the national competition next year, Black said a platinum sponsor would be around $25,000.
Black called the decision to host the national competition the next step after a successful first run in Flowery Branch last month.
“The restaurants and the businesses did well. We had a lot of spectators and over 100-something participants each day, so for nationals it would be that and more,” Black said. “It’s good for the economy. It’s good for us to host. Of course, we want to show Hall County off and what kind of Southern hospitality we can provide.”