Airmen participate in German firefighter combat challenge

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By Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published July 09, 2014

Roger Mead leads the race during the victim rescue obstacle during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The victim rescue is the last obstacle of five requiring a firefighter to carry a 175-pound mannequin 30 meters to the finish line. Mead is a 423rd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter at Royal Air Force Alconbury, England. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Roger Mead leads the race during the victim rescue obstacle during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The victim rescue is the last obstacle of five requiring a firefighter to carry a 175-pound mannequin 30 meters to the finish line. Mead is a 423rd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter at Royal Air Force Alconbury, England. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Airman 1st Class Scott Weeks and Palvic Andraz hoist a 40-pound weight at the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. Hoisting the weight simulated pulling tools or an additional hose from a building roof to combat a fire. Andraz is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter and a native of Green Bay, Wis., and Andraz is a firefighter from Slovakia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Airman 1st Class Scott Weeks and Palvic Andraz hoist a 40-pound weight at the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. Hoisting the weight simulated pulling tools or an additional hose from a building roof to combat a fire. Andraz is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter and a native of Green Bay, Wis., and Andraz is a firefighter from Slovakia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Tech. Sgt. James Hickom hammers the Keiser force machine during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The Keiser force machine simulates hammering a hole into a burning building. Hickom is the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s 435th Construction and Training Squadron fire academy NCO in charge at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Tech. Sgt. James Hickom hammers the Keiser force machine during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The Keiser force machine simulates hammering a hole into a burning building. Hickom is the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s 435th Construction and Training Squadron fire academy NCO in charge at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Gerd Mueller hammers the Keiser force machine during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The Keiser force machine simulates hammering a hole into a burning building. Mueller is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter crew chief and a native of Gransdorf, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Gerd Mueller hammers the Keiser force machine during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The Keiser force machine simulates hammering a hole into a burning building. Mueller is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter crew chief and a native of Gransdorf, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Senior Master Sgt. Jason Theriault sprays water to extinguish a simulated fire at the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. Theriault, a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief and a native of Gloucester, Mass., carried hose 78 feet crossed a simulated door to a building and turned on the hose to extinguish the fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Senior Master Sgt. Jason Theriault sprays water to extinguish a simulated fire at the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. Theriault, a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief and a native of Gloucester, Mass., carried hose 78 feet crossed a simulated door to a building and turned on the hose to extinguish the fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Airman 1st Class Scott Weeks grasps the fire hose at the sound of the starting whistle during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 6, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The obstacle simulated carrying a hose up a burning building to extinguish a fire. Weeks is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter and a native of Green Bay, Wis. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

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Airman 1st Class Scott Weeks grasps the fire hose at the sound of the starting whistle during the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 6, 2014, in Ediger-Eller, Germany. The obstacle simulated carrying a hose up a burning building to extinguish a fire. Weeks is a 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter and a native of Green Bay, Wis. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) --

Spangdahlem Air Base firefighters hosted and participated in the first Mosel Firefighter Combat Challenge July 5-6, in Ediger-Eller, Germany.

"(The) firefighter combat challenge is where all the firefighters from across Europe come together to have fun and compete against each other," said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Theriault, the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief. "We have firefighters here from Poland, Slovenia, Great Britain, Canada, France and three U.S. air bases in Europe."

The trial consisted of obstacles a firefighter could face while battling a real fire.

"The challenge simulates a structure fire, such as people going inside a building, hoisting up equipment, hammer blow, pulling hose and rescuing a victim," said Gerd Mueller, a 52nd CES firefighter. "It's a task of five different events, combined into one sporting event."

Mueller was a key organizer of the challenge, which took more than six months to plan and execute.

"As firefighters, this is the best way to showcase our job to the public," Mueller said. "A lot of people think we just sit around waiting for a call, but we have to train and maintain our fitness and firefighting techniques."

The Spangdahlem AB firefighter team beat out firefighters from Ramstein AB, Germany, and Royal Air Force Alconbury, England, to take home the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa championship.

The challenge is known by firefighters as the toughest two minutes in sports.

"Pain!," said Airman 1st Class Scott Weeks, a 52nd CES firefighter. "It's a pain like no other. You can train as hard as you can for this competition and you're still going to feel the same when you finish. Doesn't matter if you finish in four minutes or a minute and a half, you're going to feel the same."

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