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Alpharetta firefighters complete elite firefighter challenge
by Staff
October 30, 2013 02:21 PM | 1315 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The weekend of Oct. 18 through Oct. 20, three Alpharetta firefighters completed an elite 48 hour firefighter challenge course that is designed to test a firefighter’s ability to remain focused on tasks while battling physical, mental and emotional fatigue. The challenge, called “Flames”, started with 24 firefighters from all over Georgia and ended with only nine completing the course. Three of those nine are from Alpharetta. There are less than 200 firefighters in Georgia who have completed the course since it first started eight years ago.

Director Gary George said, “We are proud of these three firefighters who took their health and professional growth to a higher standard. This is a great example of the caliber of employees that we have.”

“Flames” is designed to test an individual firefighter’s personal limitations when working in high stress situations with limited recuperation periods. It is also designed to test the individual’s ability to function as part of a team. Teambuilding is the focal point of the course. Jeff Garreau, one of the captains who completed the course, said, “We trained every day for a year to be prepared. There were several times during the weekend when we felt that it was not enough preparation, but we pushed through it. It was hard.”

Physical training, running, jogging and climbing stairs while wearing their personal protective equipment weighing more than 60 pounds are just a few examples of what are included in the “Flames” course that started Friday night and ended late Sunday evening. Firefighters were only allowed a few hours of rest each morning to provide them some time to rehydrate and regroup. “Flames” web site sates, “The Flames course reinforces the importance of good core values and character, the basis of leadership. Successful participants will have to demonstrate the ability to follow and function as a teammate; it is the first step in a long journey to becoming a leader.”

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