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Firefighters compete in challenge honoring 9/11 first responders

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - If you drove by the Lake Charles Civic Center today, you may have noticed some firefighters competing in an obstacle course. It’s all part of a worldwide competition as first responders compete against each other to be the best of the best. This year, it’s all in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The firefighters competed for the best time while climbing a five story tower in full gear, rescuing victims, plus hoisting and dragging a 240-pound hose. ESPN dubbed the firefighter combat challenge the “toughest two minutes in sports.”

Regional competitions held at the civic center Friday drew a crowd of supporters cheering on their firemen and women.

“Oh yeah, I look up to them big time,” said Jeanne Perkins, the wife of one of the firefighters competing. “I wish I could do it.”

One of those competitors is Cheri Ardoin, who is also helping spearhead the program.

“I made it to 18 years of world events. At the world events, there’s probably 20 different countries that compete now,” Ardoin said.

The competitors honored the brave first responders during the 9/11 attacks.

“Even when we do the stair climbs, we do 110 stories, and we do it in full gear, on air, and sometimes we carry hose bags with us. Along the staircases, we put all the pictures of the people who died in 9/11, so as you’re struggling making it up those stairs, you look at these guys and think of the struggle and dedication they made and their families made on that day,” Ardoin said.

“We worry from time to time, but at the same time, we know they train and are ready for it, especially knowing they are physically ready,” Perkins said.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday is a kids course and games open for the public to attend as well as watching the team competitions.

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