Other competition heating up outside Cotton Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas – In just a few hours, the Missouri Tigers and the Oklahoma State Cowboys will fight to see who is the better football team.

Before the battle on the field kicks off, firefighters from across the world competed for the top title in a unique Cotton Bowl competition.

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge kicked off the festivities at the  78th annual Cotton Bowl Classic.

The challenge began at 3 p.m. and featured firefighters from across the United States and Canada.

Some of the firefighters even made their way from Lawton, Okla. to take part in the event.

“It’s going to be just like this game. It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be fun,” said Brandon Foss, from the Lawton Fire Department. “Firefighters are some of the most competitive people in the world.”

Organizers say the participants have been in training for months to prepare for the competition.

Competitors went head to head wearing full bunker gear and self-contained breathing apparatus as they simulated what they may encounter in a real life or death situation.

The firemen battled one another in a linked series of tasks including a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a 175 pound “victim.”

Each competitor raced against their opponent and the clock.

“It’s really exciting that our game was selected to showcase the Firefighters Challenge,” says Marty MacInnis, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. “What a special opportunity we have to tip our hat to firefighters everywhere. They do so much for our communities throughout the USA and Canada.”

The firefighters also have a role in the pre-game program on the field.