Firefighter try-outs held at Columbus Civic Center - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Firefighter try-outs held at Columbus Civic Center

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

About 100 candidates from all over the region are fighting for less than seven available spots in the Columbus Fire Department.

In the end, a lot of them are going to be disappointed, and some won't have to wait to see if they got an interview because they are being eliminated left and right by this difficult course.  

If you think you have what it takes to be a Columbus firefighter, take a look at what this year's candidates have to do before they're even considered for an interview.   

"I've taken the test before, but I forgot what it really felt like until I came back and got on it.   But the stair master really got me though," said candidate Jerald Johnson.

You may think lasting several minutes on a stair master is no big deal, but try it when you're weighed down with 75 pounds of equipment.

"I thought I was prepared for it," said Johnson. "I work out every day, but this is a little different because you have to keep going. There's no breaks in between. And you're on a timed basis, so it was kind of tough. Anyone who's trying to do it, just make sure you're prepared."

The course is designed to simulate the real life tasks that firefighters are expected to perform on a daily basis. If you can pass this course, you're at least qualified to do the minimum amount of physical activity required on the job.  

"Each task or event is based upon a real-life scenario or a situation that a fireman may find themselves in:  from climbing stairs in a high-rise building while wearing their air pack, to crawling through a darkened maze, toting equipment, raising ladders, doing a forcible entry, which they would do using an axe," said Training Chief, Tim Smith. "But we've had several people not pass. We probably have about a 30 percent fail rate."

"It seems like a great job- more of a career than a job- it's just something I've wanted to do since I was little and now I'm just fulfilling my dream," said candidate Zachary Pevitt.

 The tryouts last until Saturday, and if you haven't signed up yet, you'll have to wait until next year for your chance.  

These men and women have been giving it their best effort all day and the department will have a lot of good candidates to choose from.   They had to make this course so tough because when it comes to saving lives, firefighters have to be ready to do whatever is necessary.    

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