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Katy England Katy England
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Emergency Service Challenge

CAMDEN Being a first responder is hard, physically as well as emotionally. And finding qualified applicants is always a challenge that is only compounded as many responders reach retirement age. To combat this, members of the Camden Fire Department, the Hope Fire Department and the Camden First Aid Association hope to increase recruitment as participants and spectators have a chance to meet first responders in various fields, including fire, EMS and law enforcement. Chris McCabe from 'Northwoods Law' has already registered as a member.

'[We thought,] let's try to put on some type of event that will garner some attention. We wanted to do something that would appeal to a wider variety of people,' said Chief Chris Farley of the Camden Fire Department. Though the response from other agencies has been limited, Farley hopes the Challenge gets some traction.

The challenge itself is open to everyone. To register you need to have $50 and the willingness to brave an epic obstacle course that spans ski and bike trails on Ragged Mountain in the Camden Snow Bowl and features a 160-meter swim across Hosmer Pond. The Challenge is an endurance trial, inspired by actual situations encountered by firefighters, EMS and law enforcement. Obstacles for the course include:

Blazing Forearms - Hoist cinder blocks 15 feet into the air with a rope and pulley, hand over hand.

Bucket Brigade Fill two five-gallon buckets with gravel and carry them to the dumping location. 

Maiden Cliff Rescue- Climb 15 feet up a rope.

Rescue Sandy - Using teamwork, carry Poor Sandy on a stretcher over a wall and to her destination.

The Burning Building - Crawl 15 meters under barbed wire with smoke pouring over your head.

Abigail's Alibi - Use your brain to solve the puzzle and get Abigail's Alibi. You will be quizzed about Abigail's Alibi before the Get Wet! obstacle.

High-Rise Hell - Carry a hose pack on your back up and down a steep ski slope.

Mighty River Jump - Using a rope, swing like Tarzan over a mighty stream.

Who Put These Here? - Run through a sea of tires, just like football players.

Just Add Water - Crawl through a culvert that is partially filled with water.

Get Wet! - Swim 160 meters across Hosmer Pond

Fire Jump - Need we say more?

'What the group [designing the course] tried to do was have a theme towards fire, EMS and law enforcement,' said Farley.

For more information about the Emergency Services Challenge or to register, visit www.emergencychallenge.org or find them on Facebook. You can also email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call (207) 236-7950.

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