Folsom FD tops at world combat

Folsom firefighters place in world championship
By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Several firefighters from the Folsom Fire Department competed in the 3M/Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships from Oct. 22- 27, and multiple Folsom men took home top awards.

The Challenge seeks to encourage firefighter fitness and demonstrate the profession's rigors to the public. Wearing "full bunker gear" and the Scott 5.5 Air-Pak breathing apparatus, pairs of competitors race head-to-head, as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks. The five tasks include climbing the five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound "victim," as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock.

With more than 500 competitors from 13 countries qualified to compete, Folsom Fire Captain Martin Odestig and Sacramento Metro Battalion Chief Kevin Wegener teamed up for the win in the Tandem Over-45 category.

Odestig and Wegener also participated in the Relay Over-40 category with Folsom Fire Captain Clint Madden, Folsom Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez and Amador Fire Chief Walt White to place second.

In the Solo Over-50 category, Madden finished in third place. Several other Folsom firefighters competed very well with Firefighter Travis Silva delivering the fastest solo time of one minute, 36 seconds. Other competitors included Engineer Pierce Ackerman, Firefighter Stephen Anderson, Firefighter Alex Karp, Firefighter Gary LaRussa, and Firefighter Jeff Smith. They all competed individually or teamed up during the event.

“I am extremely proud of our firefighters for competing during the Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships in Sacramento,” Rodriguez said. “It brought forth great teamwork, camaraderie and health awareness. They represented Folsom very well. A job well done by all.”

The competition serves as a great reminder regarding health and wellness for everyone. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, preceded by Movember, which is an annual event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's suicide.

Several members from the Folsom Fire Department will be growing their mustache during the month of November to bring awareness to these issues. A shave-off event will be held as it concludes.