In an effort to bring people together for the sake of competition, Pam Gomez, a personal trainer at Chenoa Fitness Center, and a small committee of dedicated individuals have organized their first firefighters competition, the Fire Games. The event will be held on Jan. 19, beginning at 8:30 a.m. for participants and 9 a.m. for spectators.
"So much of what our local first responders do for a living requires physical fitness," Gomez said. "Here at the Chenoa Fitness Center, physical fitness is our passion. So, we decided we would hold an event for area firefighters to compete."
With support from CFC's John and Dylan Cerda, Gomez planned out the event with her daughters, Sabrina,  Rebecca and Christina and some friends.
"I have seen different firefighter competitions in the past and I always thought they were very intriguing," Gomez said. "There was about five or six of us and we worked together to figure out how to make this happen."
The competition consists of a homemade obstacle course, a few side competitions like a tug-of-war and a few 60-second exercise competitions. The team entry fee is set at $100 per team. Once the departments pay their fee, the accumulated total is set aside to be given to the winning team of the obstacle course.
"John Cerda said he would provide the building and all the food and stuff like that, so we're going to feed them and just offer them a fun afternoon because of how much they do for us," Gomez said. "We also thought it would be a great way to raise a little bit of money for the local fire departments."
All of the area fire departments have been invited to participate with five members per department on a team. The obstacle course will be timed and whichever team can go through the course the fastest will be the winner.
The obstacle course will start off with a tunnel crawl. On the other side of the tunnel, participants will have to complete a number of sit-ups with a sandbag on their chest. Then, they will go through a tire agility obstacle where they are holding the sandbag and they will have to run through the tires.
    After the tires, participants will quickly climb up a ladder, tap something at the top of the ladder and come back down. From there, they will have to do a sled push with weights on it. Then, they are going over a wall.
    "We actually built a six-foot wall that the firefighters will have to clear," Gomez said. "Then, after the wall, they do an Army crawl underneath a rope net and then, at the end, they have to do four or five tire flips with a big tractor tire. Once the first person is through, the next person can start, but all five team members have to get through."
    As word about the event began to spread, local businesses asked Gomez if they could contribute to the event. With all the local support, Gomez said there is a pretty sizable amount of money at stake for the competition. One of the contributing businesses is The General Store in Pontiac. The General Store created some event T-shirts and Gomez reports about 100 shirts have been sold.
    "It would be wonderful if people decided to come out and cheer the firefighters on," Gomez said. "There's already so much hype going back and forth from each of the departments, they are all ready to bring their A-game."