Low Country Firefighters Train for State Competition

Firefighters train all the time to save lives, but they've also found a way to turn it into a competition. Firefighters from Burton, in Beaufort County, are training for the state firefighters association competition. WTOC caught up with them before they head to Myrtle Beach this week for the big event.

Burton's competition team has been training for months now, trying to regain its title as number one in the South Carolina.

But whether it's weaving in and out of cones, dragging a fire hose or rescuing a victim, it's all part of the course. "What we do on real fires is something similar to what we're doing out here," said firefighter Patrick Thomas. "The endurance, running, the agility part is what we need on the fire grounds."

"It puts me in similar situations with conditions, being exhausted and still having to work and keep going," added Larry Landry.

"It's giving you confidence in you physical abilities because a lot of the things we do out here is the same thing we're going to do on emergency response," said Lt. Deb Lewis.

Not only does this training help firefighters put their skills to the test, but most of them say they enjoy it. "Of course it's for bragging rights," said Thomas. "We have fun doing it."

Although it may be a friendly competition, these firefighters know their reputation is on the line. "2001, we were state champs, second year we came in second and the next year we didn't place, but we're hungry and want it back this year," firefighter Eddie Price told us.

Burton firefighters and others in the Low Country will be heading to Myrtle Beach later this week for the competition on Saturday, and we hear it's going to be pretty intense.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com