PIQUA — Piqua firefighter Corbin Peltier recently competed in the national Firefighter Combat Challenge — racing against other first-time candidates and professional firefighters around the country — and he’s not looking to stop there.
Peltier won in his heat against other newcomers and placed 53rd out of 104 candidates overall in the open individual competition held at FDIC in Indianapolis earlier this month.
“It’s a big accomplishment to achieve it,” Peltier said. “It’s a very big achievement.”
The Firefighter Combat Challenge is a race where contestants must wear “full bunker gear,” which weighs between 70-80 pounds, and a breathing apparatus while completing five tasks. Those tasks include climbing a five-story tower; hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses; and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound “victim,” according to the challenge’s website. Peltier added that rescuing the 175-pound dummy includes dragging it 100 feet.
Peltier said that contestants have seven minutes to complete the challenge, and he did it in 2 minutes and 38 seconds in his first heat.
“Some candidates didn’t even finish,” Peltier said. He added later, “I was kind of surprised how hard it was.”
Peltier said that seasoned contestants called his time a respectable time and that he might have been held back a bit by using his regular gear instead of competition gear, which is lighter.
“I used my gear that I work with,” Peltier said.
Peltier is looking to compete again in the Firefighter Combat Challenge in their U.S. Nationals competition in Florida in October.
“I’m trying to get sponsored,” Peltier said.
Peltier, who played sports in high school, said the competition brought back a feeling of “nervous excitement” before games.
“Going through that event kind of brought back memories,” Peltier said.
Peltier, a Piqua native, has been full-time with the Piqua Fire Department for four years. He graduated from Lehman High School in 2009 and then studied at Columbus State Community College. He also worked at four different fire departments in the Columbus area. He also still works part-time in the Columbus area, working between 72-90 hours a week.
“I love it. I’m just a hands-on person,” Peltier said.
Piqua City Manager Gary Huff praised Peltier during a recent city commission meeting, calling his win “pretty amazing.”
“I think that speaks to the quality of employees and, in this particular case, firefighters we have. It’s a pretty grueling challenge and he did a fantastic job,” Huff said. “We’re very proud of that.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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