For the third year in a row, I had the marvellous satisfaction to participate in the British Firefighter Challenge at Bury St Edmunds.

This year was the most challenging one to the date with the temperature hitting 33 degrees. A heat wave! Never the less, even on this hot British day with these harsh heat conditions I witnessed the most powerful, determined, and willful group who wanted to prove themselves physically and represent the strength of the fire brigade! This event grows from year to year bringing more and more firefighters from all over the world. Since the very first event, they have expanded the number of entries from 120 to over 200. This has also lead to expanding the competition from one day to a two-day long event.

5 stages of pain

Now, If you haven’t heard about The British Firefighter Challenge before let me tell you a little bit about it. It is an annual event that enables male and female firefighters to confront themselves in 8 different drills.

1. Stair Ascent

Going up the staircase with your hand always holding on to the external rail (three floors). The competitor can skip a step or two as long as they are holding on to the rail. Failure of this will result in a 2-second penalty.

2. Harken Haul Aloft

After reaching the top of the tower, the competitor must haul up a rolled hose and place it into the box provided. If the hose does not make it into the provided box it will result in a 2-second penalty.

3. Stair Descent

Now the competitor must get down the tower as soon as possible! They must hold on to the external rail and not miss one step. Skipping a step will result in a  2-second penalty.

4. Corhaven Force

Once they have made it back on the ground they are required to perform the ‘force entry’ task. The competitor must have both feet on the platform and using the hammer provided, hit the mass through the full length of the device. If they fail to hammer the weight to the end it will result in a 2-second penalty per inch missed. Failing to put the hammer on the mat will also result in a 2-second penalty.

5. Angus Fire Hose Drag

Sounds easy, looks easy but it’s not easy at all. The competitors have to connect one end of the hose to the pump, pick up the other end and drag it 60 metres to the marked line. The branch must be dropped over the line to complete this stage. No connection between the hose and pump will result in a  10-second penalty. Misplacing the hose branch will also result in a 10-second penalty.

6. Angus Fire Hose Make Up

The competitors are required to roll up or fold up a 70 meter long Fire hose. Once this is achieved, the hose needs to be fully placed into the provided storage. If the hose is not completely placed in the box it costs (you guessed it) another 5-second penalty.


7. Container Carry

The contestant now has to carry containers weighing in at an awesome 4 20kg over a short length and place them in the marked area provided. Sliding the container or not placing them in the provided area will result in a 2-second penalty per case.


8. Ruth Lee Casualty Rescue

Also known as the dummy drag. The adult human-sized and weighted dummy must be dragged from its location to the finish line. It is the most exhausting stage of the competition and requires a lot of strength to complete it. The referee is there to guide you to walk in your lane. Needless to say at this stage the contestants are tired, delirious and dehydrated but, should you happen to steer away from your lane this incurs a 5-second penalty per incident.


The race must be completed in or under 6 minutes, going over the time limit will, unfortunately, disqualify the candidate.
Are you a firefighter reading this? Do you wish to challenge yourself and push your boundaries? There are still a few spaces for you to sign up and be a part of this great experience! See you again at the British Firefighter Challange in Watford 2019! It’s not the one to be missed.


Let’s not forget about the amazing companies who help British Firefighter Challenge every year! Would you like to help become a sponsor? Get in touch with BFC Team!


Breeze Event Production     SGC Security Services    Concertus    Ruth Lee    Skills For Justice    Emergency One    Angus Fire    Corhaven    Harken Industrial    iPro Sport    Ballyclare    A1Throphies    Drager    PBI Performance Products     Delta Fire    James Latham    Sainsbury’s    Hunter


Are you planning an event? Get in touch! I would love to be a part of it!