Have you ever dreamed of being a firefighter as a kid? There is a new event coming to Grand Rapids where you can compete with real firefighters.

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Seeing Your First Fire Truck

Amarillo Fire Department Engine 13
Michael Rivera, Townsquare Media

I'm not sure every school did this or does this but when I was a kid in grade school they had local firefighters come to the school for an assembly. The firefighters would bring the big fire truck and all the kids would take turns climbing all over it. There was one year when they let us ride in the truck around the parking lot. Being a little boy in grade school, there was nothing cooler.


portrait of handsome fireman in uniform standing in front of wall of fire

Firefighters risk their lives to protect and serve their community. They are trained to put out hazardous fires, homes, forests, save animals and humans from dangerous situations. Being a firefighter is a serious physical job that requires local, regional, and even state-approved fire training, but those with the will and the determination can find themselves in a lifelong rewarding career that has lots of opportunities for advancement.

Firefighter Challenge Coming to Grand Rapids

Getty Images/Cavan Images RF
Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

There is a new event that will be coming to Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids this summer called the Firefighter Challenge. Not only will local area firemen and firewomen be competing but anyone who thinks they have what it takes can compete as well. So if you dreamed of becoming a firefighter, this is a competition that could lead to a job.

Selective focus is on the firefighter in the foreground.

According to FOX 17, Battalion Chief Kathleen Tompson said, "It's going to be kind of like a fitness firefighter festival."

When Is the Firefighter Challenge?

Fire drill and fire evacuation training
Wera Rodsawang/Getty Images

The Firefighter Challenge will be the weekend of July 29 at Calder Plaza. The general public is invited to come to watch the challenge for free. You can even root for your favorite local firefighter or family or friend that is in the competition. If you haven't seen a firefighter in action, this will give you a good idea of just how hard of a job they have and give you a better sense of appreciation for what they do.

What Kind of Events Are a Part of the Challenge?

Pete Muller/Getty Images/Image Source
Pete Muller/Getty Images/Image Source

Make sure you are pretty physically fit if you plan on taking this challenge with professional firefighters because you will carry victims, doing forcible entries as well as carrying a hose up several flights of stairs, and more. If you think you have what it takes to enter, sign up here. Registration should be live any day now. Entry fees range between $25 and $40.

What is the Purpose of the Firefighter Challenge?

Firefighters with professor ready for the training.
Valerie Loiseleux/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The whole idea behind the Firefighter Challenge is to show the public the service these men and women offer their communities as well as find new recruits. Fire all across West Michigan and across the state is in need of new firefighters.

Grand Rapids recruits are down from nearly 1300 applicants to a couple of years later the number falling almost in half.

Hopefully, this event will find some new recruits for area fire stations and provide the public with a good look at what it takes to be a firefighter.

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