Altus firefighters take fourth in the world at competition - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Altus firefighters take fourth in the world at competition

Altus_Altus firefighters are among the best in the world, placing fourth in the world in a competition in Las Vegas in a rigorous test of their lifesaving skills.  Firefighters did simulated exercises such as cutting a hole in a roof and dragging a 200-pound dummy across the finish line.  The Altus Fire Department's team is known as "Team Dr. Pepper," and they have been competing in this competition for ten years.

Some of the competitors said the Las Vegas competition say this was the most difficult thing they have ever done in their lives, but they were glad to do it.  The competition helps them to keep up their skills and keep themselves in shape. 

Although it's a tough and grueling competition, Altus firefighter Larry Moody says it's just another day at the office.  "Everything in the challenge is based on something in firefighting," he said.  "Everything we train to do is more to keep you in shape than anything."  The training alone keeps them in shape, too. 

Fire Chief J.R. Wheeler attended the competition with his team to give them moral support.  "It brings all our guys together as a team because it's a team effort from the entire department," he said.  Fortunately, this team has its own obstacle course to practice on that is almost an exact replica as the one where they compete.  Many fire departments from around Texoma travel to Altus to use it.

At one point during the obstacle course, firefighters run up some stairs with a 45-pound hose, throw the hose into a box, and run back down - no easy task.  To participate in the competitions, Altus firefighters use only fundraising money from events such as car washes and t-shirt sales.  The usual budget for the trip is about $10,000.
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