The annual Missoula Fire Combat Challenge was held Friday and Saturday in front of Sean Kelly's Irish Pub. 

Thousands of spectators over the two day period watched firefighters match their skills with teams from all over the country. The Missoula Combat Challenge Team, which holds two world championships and the current team world record, hosted the regional competition, called "the toughest two minutes in sports."

photo by Dale and Doreen Stevenson

Coordinator for the event Justin Walsh of the Missoula City Fire Department said the competition is basically the firefighter Olympics.

“It’s a demonstration to the public of what we can, and should, be prepared for on any fire ground activity. We’ll be carrying a hose load up four flights of stairs. We’re hauling hose up over the top of that staircase and down again. We’re simulating a forcible entry, or a ventilation hole, by hitting a heavy chunk of steel five feet. Then, we’re dragging a 175 pound dummy 100 feet as fast as we can.”

Walsh said firefighters from all over the country were in Missoula to compete this 4th of July weekend. The teams that competed were Missoula City and Missoula Rural Fire, Nellis, Westcott Fire, LFD, Calgary, Didsbury, Canadian Team Nexxen, Newmont Mine Rescue and Dickenson Fire Department.

There was an opportunity for community members to put together teams in the competition, as well as a kid's course.

Many thanks to Dale and Doreen Stevenson for the photos and video from this event.