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Westminster Fire team wins “Olympics” of firefighting

(Nov 29, 2012)

A relay team from Westminster Fire Department took first place in the Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Nov. 17.

Firefighters from the U.S. and other countries competed in the event, considered the Olympics of firefighting. ESPN billed it “the toughest two minutes in sports.”

The WFD five-member relay team beat out 64 other teams to earn the first World Championship for the department after 20 years of sending competitors.

The 2012 WFD Combat Team members were Luke Gearhard, Courtney Van Marter, Matt Meyer, Brett Miller, Chris Dinges, Shawn Caswell and Nick Vinson.

In addition to the relay team win, three WFD competitors - Van Marter, Miller and Gearhard - achieved the coveted “Lion’s Den” status this year.

Men must finish the course in less than 100 seconds and women finish in less than 3 minutes to get into the Lion’s Den.

Gearhard and Miller competed against 145 firefighters in the men’s open division; Miller is now ranked 6th in the world.

Van Marter ran the course in 2 minutes, 48 seconds earning her a rank of 3rd in the world in the women’s category.

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