The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Giving students a taste of emergency response careers: The 2017 combat challenge

A COCC student conducting the Combat Challenge, one of the first students to run through the test.

By Katya Agatucci | The Broadside (Contact: [email protected])

Students from all over Central Oregon, including College Now Sister’s high school, came together from their Intro into EMS class for a combat challenge demonstration on Oct. 17 at the Bend fire training grounds.

“[It] is the physical agility test that the Joint Recruitment Scholarship testing process uses for the scholarship positions within our region fire departments here in Central Oregon,” Paula Simone, program director for both Structural Fire Science and Wildland Fire Science, explained.

Nine of the fire departments in Central Oregon offer partial to full scholarships for the students.

These activities will give students the chance to try out the different types of physical activities that will be or could be part of a physical agility test with their career jobs.  

Jordan Pollard [left], a Sisters High School student, in the middle of his combat challenge demonstration. Pollard is taking the SFS 101 class at Central Oregon Community College through the College Now program. Sarah Barcelone [right], a COCC student in Paula Simone’s Redmond classes helps as well. Barcelone is affiliated with Redmond Fire.
“We start them off by breaking them all up into stations to give each person in the group tips and techniques to perform the task and the opportunity for each person in the group to try it,” Simone stated.

After they have rotated through all of the stations and each students have had the chance to try everything, a course run is offered to the students.

“In a normal physical agility test, they would be required to wear full turnouts and breathe air through self-contained breathing apparatus [SCBA] while performing the test. We allow them to run the test in a 25 pound weight vest, turnout coat, helmet and gloves,” Simone said.

According to Simone, the students had a good time and ended up enjoying the activity: “It gave the students a good understanding of what they may need to work on physically to prepare themselves for the test as well as how important nutrition and hydration play in this line of work with the physical demands of the job.”

Students from all three classes from Bend, Redmond, and Sisters came together to conduct their combat challenge demonstration at the Bend Fire Training grounds.

For more information on the Fire Science-Structural department, contact Paula Simone at [email protected]. ■

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