Friday, August 5, 2016

The Cal Ripkin of the Firefighter Combat Challenge®

From Walt White, 25-Year FCC Veteran
The “Original” American River Combat Challenge Team with then Private Walt White on left next to Dr. Davis
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the SCOTT Firefighter Combat Challenge, an international competition that attracts over 5,000 competitors from 16 countries from around the globe, annually converging to compete for the title of World’s fastest firefighters. The event, known as the toughest two minutes in sports is aired on ESPN; it promotes fitness in the fire service and showcases to the general public the arduous demands of firefighting. Pairs of competitors, wearing full protective gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)s provided by SCOTT Safety, race against each other and the clock through a series of five linked firefighting tasks: climbing a five-story tower, carrying a hose pack, hoisting a hose roll to the top of the tower by rope, driving a steel I-Beam a distance of five feet using a 9lb shot mallet to simulate cutting a hole with an axe, then competitors must drag a 1¾” charged hose line 75 ft. before hitting a target and lifting a 175lb victim mannequin and dragging it 100 ft. to the finish line. Top competitors will complete the course well under a minute and a half.
Walt running the course

Walt White: Lion’s Den Inductee 2011
One of this year’s competitors is Sacramento Fire Chief Walt White, competing for his 25th consecutive season, the only competitor to do so, compete in every season of the sports history. White, a self-proclaimed historian of the sport; he can name every year’s top finisher and their finishing time. Although not a World Champion himself, he has trained with and competed alongside some of the sports elite. He has competed in virtually every division of competition: open individual, team, chief, over 40, over 45 and this year he will be competing in the over 50 division. Twice White’s teams have finished third overall in the World. Individually he has won regional championships in the open division, held the over 40 state championship, he is a two-time national champion in the chief division and finished second in the World in that division in 2009. “Up until the last few year’s I always felt that my best run was still in me, now I am grateful for the age divisions and glad when I break the two-minute mark on the course. This is one sport where father time is undefeated” White says.

Chief Walt White, Sacramento Fire
Over the last 25 years White has worked his way through the ranks of the fire service from firefighter to fire chief. Additionally he has earned academic credibility by completing his: B.S. in Fire Service Management from Sacramento State, his M.S. in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University, furthermore he completed the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program and participated in both Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the Naval Post Graduates Executive Leadership program. In July of 2014 he was appointed Fire Chief of the Sacramento Fire Department, the first person in the history of the department to be appointed to this post from the outside. As Fire Chief he has hired over 100 new firefighters and added companies, he is overseeing the replacement of two fire stations, has completed a Standards of Cover study, developed a 5-year master plan for the department and established a Diversity Advisory Board. “I am humbled and honored every day to serve as a fire chief and to work and compete with the best the profession has to offer”.

No comments: