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Challenge showcases area firefighters
web 0928 Firefighters 1
Firefighter Shane White slams a sledgehammer to test his strength during the forcible-entry portion of the third annual Southeast Georgia Firefighter Combat Challenge. - photo by Mikee Riddle

For more photos of the competition, go to

Two firefighters from the Ludowici/Long County Volunteer Fire Department competed in the third annual Southeast Georgia Firefighter Combat Challenge last week.

Capt. Tyler Hall and firefighter Shane White finished in fifth place at Saturday’s competition.

The L/LCVFD was the only volunteer department to finish in the top five out of the 18 teams that competed in the challenge.

“I think Long County and Walthourville were the only volunteer departments out there,” Assistant Chief of Training Randy Combs said.

“The career departments have the best equipment to train with, and our guys used anything that they could come up with to train with, but they had one thing that those career departments don’t have — heart.”

Hall and White began the competition by scaling five flights of stairs in full firefighting equipment while carrying a 42-pound roll of fire hose.

Then they ran back down the stairs and picked up sledgehammers. They began slamming the weight 25 times to simulate a forcible entry. 

The men made their way through several obstacles, including the “Rescue Randy” drag. To simulate dragging a victim or a fallen firefighter, Hall and White each lifted a 175-pound dummy and dragged it 100 feet to cross the finish line.

The two Long County firefighters had a combined time of 4 minutes, 57 seconds. Two teams from Hunter Army Airfield finished first and second in the event with times of 3:55 and 4:03, while the third-place team had a time of 4 minutes, 31 seconds.

Combs said he was proud of his two firefighters and that the day was special for all who attended.

“I really enjoyed the day,” he said. “It was somewhat like a family reunion. I got to see a lot of firefighting friends that I haven’t seen in many years.

“It always turns out to be a rivalry with good, clean fun, but more than anything else, it will always be a brotherhood.”

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