Cedar Falls man is world firefighting champion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls man is world firefighting champion

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL)-- The Cedar Falls Fire Department is now home to a world firefighter combat challenge champion.  Shane Farmer and a firefighter from Georgia worked side-by-side to conquer an obstacle course in just more than one minute to become the tandem world champions.

Shane Farmer loves working as a Cedar Falls firefighter.  And in the past few years, he's found a way to become better at his job by competing in combat firefighting challenges.

"You know, I want to stay on top of it.  In an ideal world, we'd have the perfect number of people to do every job.  But sometimes, we're going to have to do more than one thing, and I want to do that to the best of my ability," Farmer said.

Farmer admits that at first, he thought combat firefighting challenges would be a breeze.  But now, he knows that intense training is a must.  He spends hours on end getting in the best physical condition possible before competing.

"I use the dorm towers at UNI for my stairs.  I do the hose hoist out of our aerial bucket truck as well as at the regional training center in Waterloo.  They're very gracious in allowing me to go over there and train," said Farmer.

After earning high marks in regional competitions, Farmer traveled to South Carolina for the world championships last month.  His partner took the first half of the race, hoisting a 45-pound fire hose and climbing up and down a five story building in full bunker gear.  Then Farmer finished the event.

"I run through a serpentine of hydrants, drag out a charged hose, hit a target, then ultimately drag a 185 pound rescue Randy a hundred feet backwards," Farmer said.

The duo's time of 1:13 almost set a new world record and was enough to win them the championship.  Farmer hopes the victory might help inspire fellow firefighters in the Cedar Valley to train with him, so that northeast Iowans might be one day able to take home team championships.

Farmer says he's now in his off time for training.  But before competition season begins next year, he'll be back in the gym every day spending up to six hours preparing to defend his world championship next year.

Farmer credits The Gym in Cedar Falls for helping him win the championship.  He says they helped him turn some of his weaknesses into strengths.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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