Firefighter Combat Challenge

2021 Combat Challenge - Key Dates 

About the Combat Challenge

UFBA Firefighter Combat Challenge

The Combat Challenge is like a Firefighter Iron Man and is the most physically demanding of our Challenges - so crossing the finishing line is all the more rewarding! It's earned the reputation of being 'the toughest two minutes in sport'.

Wearing full bunker gear and breathing from a BA set, competitors race against each other and the clock in a series of tasks across the course. The five tasks are:

  1. Climbing a 6 storey tower carrying a length of 70mm 19kg flaked hose
  2. Hoisting a 70mm hose coil 6 storeys
  3. Chopping using a 4kg shot hammer to drive a beam 1.5 metres
  4. Extending a charged length of 45mm hose to knock down a disc
  5. Dragging a life sized dummy a distance of 30.5m

The competition is a great test of skill and fitness and simulates the physical demands of real life firefighting to the public.

Are you tough enough?

"Last year Palmerston North Fire Brigade entered a number of people. We all trained for months individually and as a group. This improved all of our fitness, the comaraderie within the group and the whole brigade with everyone getting behind our fundraising, support for training and making up a set of our own gear... Congratulations on organising a competition where volunteer and professional firefighters can come together."  
Angela Weir, Qualified Firefighter Palmerston North

Frequently Asked Questions

Q » Are we able to have two males and two females in a team?


Q » Will there be a chance to walk through the course beforehand?

For safety reasons, the track will not be available for practice runs before the Challenge commences for individuals. However, if you register as part of a tandem team you can have a practice run.

Q » What cylinders will be used?

For the Wellington event in 2013, it was as per the Ashburton Challenge which was using any and all spares that were available at the time leading up to the event. 

Q » Will we be using an American style tower configuration?

The tower configuration will be the same as in Wellington 2013 and as close as we can get it to the American tower. We try hard to keep everything the same.

Q » What gloves do I require?

The Technical Panel have had feedback about the type of gloves permitted to be used for the Combat Challenge.

On Page 8 of the rules:
h: PPE Specifics
iii Gloves - Level 1 gloves are ample for this event.

If you have specific gloves you are considering using for the event and you are unsure that they comply with the above rules, the Technical Panel will be able to advise you if you can provide proof of the standards of the gloves in question. Email and they will forward your query on.

Please note however, that if you are intending to compete overseas you will need to have the correct structural firefighting glove.

Q » Will there be re-runs or knock outs? How will the Tandem and Relay events run?

For 2013, it was as follows:

Tandem Event

Your entry fee will entitle your team to two attempts at the Tandem Event. You can change positions on your second attempt. There is only one area in which you can change the baton, that is before you start the Keiser or on completion of the Keiser. The winners will be decided on the fastest time recorded over all the completed runs.

You can pay another entry fee which will entitle you to two further runs, if time allows.

Relay Event

We have decided that we will allow the Relay Event, to be run as the World Relay Event is conducted. That is, your opening round time will be recorded as part of the seeding process. The second round will commence with the following number of teams: 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 teams with the fastest time competing against the slowest time. If there are more than the required teams for the second round, then the slowest of teams, will be eliminated.
The winners of each event will advance to the next round. Their completed times in the previous round will be the basis of the seeding for the next round.
The Event will continue until there are only two teams left and the winner will be the team that finishes first.

Q » Can I sew a baton pocket onto my PPE gear?

Modifications and alterations to any PPE is not permitted. As the rules state "...approved for internal structural fire-fighting consistent with the relevant safety standard...".

Any modifications / alterations could compromise this standard.


Firefighter Combat Challenge Rules

Current as of June 2017

Download File (pdf, 1MB, last modified August 02 2017)
Combat Challenge - NZ Fastest Times

See the fastest times by category for 2014 and 2015

Download File (pdf, 98KB, last modified February 26 2017)
NZ Firefighter Combat Challenge Rules - August 2018 notes

Update to Firefighter Combat rules

Download File (pdf, 470KB, last modified October 15 2018)
UFBA Equipment Request Form
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20 Mar
2021 South Island Combat Challenge
Christchurch Airport
09 Apr
30 Apr
24 Jul
05 Oct


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