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Team Shaw experiences taste of firefighter mission

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron transports a simulated injured wingman during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Participants were tasked with transporting the almost 250 pound mannequin approximately 100 meters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron transports a simulated injured wingman during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Participants were tasked with transporting the almost 250 pound mannequin approximately 100 meters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing hits a block with a hammer during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Airmen from various squadrons worked together in teams to complete obstacles created to test their physical endurance as well as build camaraderie following the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing hits a block with a hammer during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Airmen from various squadrons worked together in teams to complete obstacles created to test their physical endurance as well as build camaraderie following the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing run toward an obstacle during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run following the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Team Shaw Airmen had the opportunity to experience the challenges that 20th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters may experience in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing run toward an obstacle during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run following the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Team Shaw Airmen had the opportunity to experience the challenges that 20th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters may experience in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Aerospace Medicine Squadron carries a hose to the top of a tower during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Participants in the event overcame obstacles to include: mannequin transportation, operating fire hoses and tractor tire flips throughout the run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Aerospace Medicine Squadron carries a hose to the top of a tower during a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. Participants in the event overcame obstacles to include: mannequin transportation, operating fire hoses and tractor tire flips throughout the run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

Participants in the Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run received stickers throughout the obstacle courses at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. The stickers were used as checkpoints for each completed obstacle throughout the 12-station obstacle course that took place after the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

Participants in the Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run received stickers throughout the obstacle courses at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016. The stickers were used as checkpoints for each completed obstacle throughout the 12-station obstacle course that took place after the conclusion of operational readiness exercise Weasel Victory 17-03. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department hosted a Firefighter Combat Challenge 5K Run during Warrior Day at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 18.

The event gave Team Shaw members the opportunity to experience the challenges 20th CES fire department Airmen must overcome to accomplish their mission.

Participants in the 5K run and obstacle course, whether running as an individual or team, had to tackle several obstacles that tested their physical endurance.

“The event had 12 stations stretched over a three-mile course each participant had to execute,” said Tech. Sgt. Patrick Bentley, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron fire emergency service NCO-in-charge of training. “They were challenged with hose management and climbing obstacles that definitely pushed them to the brink of wanting to quit.”

Although the challenge proved difficult for some, Staff Sgt. Terrell Thomas, Jr., 20th CES fire protection crew chief, said he got as much out of the course as he put in.

“It was a challenge, a good challenge,” 
Thomas said. “It will give them a better appreciation of what firefighters experience in any given situation, on any given day.”

Upon conclusion of the event, participants learned their times for the entirety of the course, and the fire department presented a trophy and certificates to the winning teams and individuals to recognize their drive to complete the obstacles and 5K in the fastest time.

“The event is a good example of what we go through when we report on scene,” said Staff Sgt. Christian Alvero, 20th CES firefighter. “It’s good to see every squadron work together to tackle any obstacle with a positive outlook toward the next.”

At the end of the course, Team Shaw members departed the course with a first-hand look at the challenges firefighters face and a better understanding of what training is needed to keep them fit to fight fires.