Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Parting Note from a Challenge Legend

Image result for Bill Pietrantonio

Hey Doc,

I will not be competing anymore and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for you have done for me and the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.

It has been a special part of my life. I have met a tremendous number of fantastic firefighters who truly appreciate what it means to be a firefighter.

I wish you, the crew and all the competitors all best this year and in the future.

Thanks again.

Bill Pietrantonio
P.S. keep up the great work and dedication.

Here’s a “rant” that Bill sent me some time back:
I thought I would get a jump on this topic with an old guys view. First and foremost, I believe that no limitations should be imposed other than running together prior to nationals and worlds. We can debate counties, states, mutual aid districts, paychecks and whatever else we can come up with forever. The fact remains that there is no common denominator between fire departments. The size of the departments are different- counties are 5 square miles to 20,000 sq miles, and different populations. No one thing is equal except the firefighter. He is, and will always be not only the equal component but most importantly the DECIDING FACTOR.

I have never seen a STACKED TEAM. What I have seen are teams with more resources... such as an entire course to train on, sponsorships, dept. support and the desire to compete. These are significant advantages that are never factored into a race. The military teams frequently have everything at their disposal to train with. Yet does anyone bitch? No. Why? Because it is a non-issue. We all run against the course and the clock. If you want a better time, you work and train harder with the resources you have available.

I am old school... one man does not make a TEAM. Hard work and trust in our guys make a TEAM better than limitations on who can be on your team. That is school yard bull. These guys do not go to an incident and say, “I can't handle this because I do not have so-and-so from the next county because he is the best roof man in the state.” No; they adapt and overcome. The foundation of firefighting which the challenge imitates is to test our skills. Part of the test is to use your resources to the best of your ability to accomplish the goal.

Sorry about the rant, but it seems that some people want to stack the deck by limiting the competition instead of working hard. Two examples of how hard work makes a difference... John McGee..aka "Next time better time." The man never complained even after by pass surgery. He always worked hard to be better. Roy Davis: Roy was an average runner until about the age 57. He then went on a workout program that some of the young guns could not do. That made him a superstar. Dedication, determination and hard work put Roy in a category of his own. I’m sure that you know more guys that have similar stories.

Keep the tradition; let guys work and earn the not give it away.


Roy Davis said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

ironman said...

Sorry to see you go. We all have to hang it up at some point. I enjoyed getting to know you.

Take care.....
Al Ertzner

Unknown said...

Mr. Bill, it has been a true honor to have met you and compete in the same sport that we love. The Fire Service is full of good men. Sir you are one that has shined a light on the Combat Challenge. When you go to a competition there are people's faces that you are glad to see. You friend was always one of them. Thanks for always giving kind words and motivation. You are one of the Legends of the Combat Challenge.

Take care brother....
Beau Gunter