Waukegan firefighters set world record
By Dan Moran firstname.lastname@example.org | @NewsSunDanMoran October 29, 2013 8:10PM
Members of the Waukegan Fire Department's Over-40 Relay team for the Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships included (left to right) Firefighter Tom Clasen, Battalion Chief George Bridges, Firefighter Al Ramos and Lt. Tony Soler. The team set a world record in the five-event relay in the semifinal round before winning the overall division. | Submitted by city of Waukegan
Updated: December 1, 2013 8:08AM
Four members of the Waukegan Fire Department set a world record on their way to victory in the Over-40 Relay division at the Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championship last weekend in Las Vegas.
Battalion Chief George Bridges, Lt. Tony Soler and firefighters Tom Clasen and Al Ramos posted an Over-40 world-record time of 1:16:53 during the semifinal round on Oct. 27 and then won with final-round time of 1:20:30.
A Combat Challenge consists of five events that simulate firefighting duties: a six-flight stair climb with a 42-pound hose pack; hoisting another 42-pound pack to the top of the six-flight tower; moving a 160-pound steel beam by striking it with a 9.5-pound sledgehammer; dragging a pressurized hose 75 feet and hitting a target with a stream of water; and dragging a 175-pound mannequin backward for 100 feet.
Fire Chief Ricco Farrell praised the relay members, saying in a statement that the accomplishment this weekend “proves that they are the best in the world.”
“The Combat Challenge competition annually attracts fire departments from all over the world,” Farrell said. “It encourages firefighter fitness and demonstrates the profession’s rigors of the job while racing head to head with an opponent, performing real-life firefighting techniques.
“Their hours of training and hard work have paid off by crowning them the Combat Challenge champions of the world,” Farrell added.
“Their outstanding fitness level continues on in the performance of their jobs serving and protecting the citizens of Waukegan. The city of Waukegan should be highly honored to have these world champions on our fire department.”