Members of the Altus Team Dr. Pepper firefighters are in Alabama this week competing in the Scott Firefighter Combat World Challenge.
Just like in the competitions that local onlookers have seen in area events, competitors will perform a series of five events that include running up the stairs of a high-rise, “rescuing” a victim, and using heavy hammers and other equipment. Although these “fastest time” events look like a game to some, the events actually use techniques that firefighters need in emergency situations on a regular basis.
So far while in Alabama, Tommy Sadler and Chuck LeBlanc have beat their world record by 9 seconds. The over-50 relay recorded a new personal record of 1:20, but finished just behind the Canadians and an American All-Star team, sitting third for the tournament. Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Rogers and his tandem partner qualifed in second place.
In the past, the Altus team has won several competitions, beaten world records, and competed in four world championships.
Rogers, who now competes in the over-50 division, attributes their success to dedication and team work.
“We all do our part,” said Rogers said, who has been a member of the team since the beginning.
After runs on Wednesday and Thursday, Team Dr. Pepper will be in bracket play on Saturday.
Just two weeks ago, the team was in Dallas, Texas where two National Championships were nabbed and a new world record was set.
Sadler and Leblanc became the first over 65 Tandem team to successfully complete the course, establishing a new World Record of 2:21.29 and a new division. It is Sadler’s second world record. He was on the over-40 Dr Pepper relay team that set a world record in their national championship race in 2004. They went on win the world championship that year.
Rogers and Terry Hawkins (Tyler, Texas) won the Over 50 tandem national championship, edging out the FDIC tandem (Tulsa/Nebraska) with a time of 1:33. The tandem is two competitors each performing half of the course, and the times are matched against other teams in their category.
The over-50 relay team was crowned national champions for posting the fastest relay time nationally through the 17 events held throughout United States this season. They raced in the over-40 relay tournament and placed third. This marks the teams’ 5th national title in the relay division.
Reach Michael Bush at [email protected]