Horry Country Fire Rescue preparing, training with others for 'firefighter challenge'

The world firefighter combat challenge is months away, but Horry County Fire Rescue team members were busy practicing Saturday. They'll continue through the weekend.

Each fall, firefighters from at least five countries battle to be the best in the world at the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge competition in the fall.

The course tests their strength and agility, and is very similar to what they encounter in real-life situations. Oh, and they run it wearing their gear, which can weigh up to 60-70 pounds. ESPN has called the challenge the toughest 2 minutes in sports.

Saturday and Sunday Horry County Fire Rescue invited other fire fighters from other fire departments in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, and Ontario, Canada to train for upcoming competitions.

"We are all here for the one common goal just to make each other better, share our knowledge," Aaron Windsor with Horry County Fire Rescue says.

The competitors also spread across ages and genders at the training camp. Among them, 2010 world champion over 55. Michael Anderson from York, Pennsylvania. He says he prefers the camaraderie of training to the stress of the challenge.

"I'd sooner do this than compete. I mean this is a brotherhood," Anderson said."

Two women of the 10 females on team Horry were among those training today. This is the first year Horry County Fire Rescue will also have an all female team competing.

Last November team Horry came in fifth place at the challenge.