NOW:53129:USA00949
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA00949
78°
H 78° L 59°
Cloudy | 13MPH

Firefighting team shows its stuff in challenge

Greendale contingent counts intangibles

Sept. 18, 2008

Despite the thrill of competition, Greendale firefighters at the 2008 Paul Davis Restoration Midwest Regional Firefighter Combat Challenge had other things in mind than winning.

The main draw was the opportunity to personally challenge themselves, build camaraderie with other fire departments and give the public a glimpse of what they do on a daily basis.

“There’s this perception out there that firefighters do nothing but sit in the firehouse and collect a pay check,” said Lt. Dean Kozelek. “But when the bell rings, we go, and this is probably the closest the common man will get to what we do on a daily basis, without the heat and smoke.”

Kozelek was one of four Greendale firefighters to compete in the individual portion of the Sept. 13 event at Konkel Park in Greenfield. Luke Amann, Kyle Kierzek and Kurt Risberg also competed in the course, which required contestants to suit up in full gear and breathing apparatus while climbing a five-story tower, hoisting and dragging hoses, using their axes as needed and, finally, rescuing a life-size, 175-pound dummy — all head-to-head with another firefighter.

Several firefighters volunteered for the contest last year, but this was their first experience tackling the course, Kierzek said. Although they practiced several times on a mock course set up at the Greendale Fire Station, they weren’t sure what to expect in the actual competition — except for an environment free of pressure to perform well.

“No matter how we do, everyone cheers for everyone and they’re all supportive,” Kierzek said.

Still, Kierzek said before the event that he and his Greendale colleagues aimed to keep their times to 3 minutes or less.

All four came close to achieving that goal, and their times were within about 30 seconds of one another. Amann finished fastest, with a time of about 2 minutes 31 seconds, and Kozelek rounded out the group, with a time of about 3 minutes 2 seconds.

Firefighters described the experience as exhausting.

“When I got to the dummy drag at the end, there was pretty much nothing left, but I knew I had another 100 feet to go yet,” Kozelek said.

Likewise, Risberg said there was nothing that could have prepared him for lifting the 42-pound, coiled hose up the tower — or the rainy weather, which made for a slippery course and slightly slower times.

In order to qualify for the world challenge to be held in November in Las Vegas, male firefighters under the age of 40 had to complete the course in 1 minute 50 seconds or less.

“It gives us something to shoot for next year,” Kozelek said.

Greendale Fire Chief Jonathan Cohn said he was happy with the level of participation from his department this year.

“We went from zero (participants) last year to four, so it’s obviously a proud moment to see our members competing,” Cohn said.

Julie Becker can be reached at (262) 446-6606.

STANDINGS

Firefighter

Time

(in minutes)

Rank

(of 114)
Luke Amann2:31.70 60
Kurt Risberg2:53.47 83
Kyle Kierzek2:54.74 84
Dean Kozelek3:02.54 94

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Froedtert Health Center considers new location in Greendale 5/28

» South Shore Cinema to feature lounge, pizzeria and leather recliners 5/28

» Good Samaritans help rescue woman in pond from I-43 crash Updated:  5/27

» Village of Greendale takes steps to acquire property for possible veterans memorial site 5/26

» Cedar Hills to celebrate fifth-grade artwork in annual Gallery Night 5/26

» Motorcyclist killed in Hales Corners crash 5/25

» YEA! Greendale student program seeks additional business partners 5/21

» Milwaukee County Historical Society to host Trimborn Heritage Weekend 5/20

» Local police assemble for seat belt enforcement 5/20

» Greendale Marching Band to be featured in Colder's commercial 5/20

» Department of Transportation to update local businesses about South 27th Street construction 5/19

» Oak Creek's historical society begins tour season on Memorial Day 5/18

» Oak Creek High School track now open to public Saturday mornings 5/18

» Company behind Franklin High School's new floor wins national awards for design 5/13

» Let us know about your Memorial Day event 5/13

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Massive overhaul of area conferences could be afoot 5/13

» Heart the City 5K/10K to raise awareness for area homeless 5/13

» Oak Creek Health Department to host anti-drug abuse presentation just for parents 5/12

» Winter's not through with us yet 5/12

» Caterpillar consolidating space, but no layoffs will result 5/11

» Root River Theatre Company presents "Speed-the-Plow" 5/11

» Wauwatosa woman reportedly thwarted in attempt to rob dog grooming shop 5/10

» South Milwaukee Police ask for help locating missing siblings 5/2

» Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties Updated:  5/1

» Spring into Greendale event to be held May 9 4/30

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT    

Most Popular