NORTH LITTLE ROCK (Tuesday, August 30, 2022) – Firefighters from around the country will converge in North Little Rock Thursday, September 8, 2022 – Saturday, September 8, 2022, to compete in the globally-recognized Firefighter Challenge that will be held at the Dickey-Stephens Park parking lot at 400 West Broadway Street. The public, along with aspiring firefighters, are invited to attend this free, family-friendly event hosted by the City of North Little Rock Fire Department and the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“This will be the third year North Little Rock has hosted the Firefighter Challenge, and we anticipate this one to be the biggest yet with teams coming from all over the country,” said Erica Warden, Director of Events for the North Little Rock CVB. “There will also be a new community element: North Little Rock Fire Department has been organizing races with North Little Rock School district students, the winners of which will compete on Friday during the Elementary Field Trip Day.”
Challenge participants run the skills-based course tackling what are known as the Five Essential Functions™ wearing full turnout gear and a self-contained breathing apparatus provided by 3M™ Scott™ Air-Pak™. Participants, in head-to-head, individual, and tandem competitions, simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by climbing the five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses, and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponents and the clock.
“Participants in the Challenge aim to inspire their fellow firefighter to also aim for the highest level of fitness, wellness, and safety,” says Russell A. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the First Responder Institute, “so they can perform at their absolute best and minimize risks of injury on every 911 call.”
Thursday, September 8
- 9 a.m. – 5p.m. – Open Practice Day (free for spectators)
Friday, September 9
- Elementary Field Trip Day
- 9 a.m. – North Little Rock School Kids Relay Race (participants TBD)
- 5 p.m. – Opening Ceremony
Saturday, September 10
- 8 a.m. – Charity Challenge
- 10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
- Tandem and Relay Races
- Argenta Dogtown Throwdown immediately following races (Main Street from Broadway to 5th Streets)
LOCATION: Dickey-Stephens Park, 400 W Broadway Street, North Little Rock AR 72114
COST: Free for spectators
Firefighters interested in participating can register in advance with a small fee via www.firefighterchallenge.com.
“All firefighters are invited to participate regardless of where they are in their physical journey,” said Jackson. “I compare our participants to those running in a marathon. Not everyone here is focused on just winning the race. Many have incredible testimonials about how the Challenge has helped them on their journey of improving their personal and professional mental, physical and medical wellbeing. The comradery, encouragement, and takeaway lessons our participants have at each event are immeasurable.”
For more information about the Firefighter Challenge in North Little Rock, visit www.nlr.ar.gov/fire.
The Firefighter Challenge is a program of the First Responder Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is focused on reducing line-of-duty injuries and deaths caused by strain, sprain, muscular pain, or latent heart disease which costs departments, insurers, and taxpayers billions of dollars each year.