GR to host national firefighter challenge

Published on July 19, 2022

2022 Grand Rapids Firefighter Challenge Logo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Firefighters from around the country will converge in Grand Rapids July 28 to 31 and compete in the globally-recognized Firefighter Challenge being held at Calder Plaza and on Ottawa Ave. The public, along with aspiring firefighters, are invited to attend this free, family-friendly event and to cheer on these amazing heroes.

The weekend event is an opportunity to honor the work of local first responders as well as the many nonprofits, volunteers, frontline workers, emergency personnel, and other professions and organizations that work tirelessly to strengthen the fabric of our community. The event also will bring awareness of the urgent need and recruitment of an inclusive, diverse, and enriched new generation of first responders. Those interested in a career in fire profession can step up to the challenge and compete or learn more about what it takes to be a member of a fire department. The weekend will allow guests to experience the Firefighter Challenge course and feel the exhilaration of being a firefighter.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Official Firefighter Challenge, with its more than 30-year rich history of serving the fire service, to Grand Rapids,” Maura Race, Grand Rapids’ Firefighter Challenge, said. “This event, brought to us by the Grand Rapids Fire Prevention Foundation, highlights various skillsets and talents of firefighters as competitors climb a five-story tower, drag and hoist fire hoses, simulate forcible entry, and race around obstacles on the most recognized firefighter training course in the world.”

Hours of the event run:

  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 29
  • 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 30
  • 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31

Event highlights include:

  • The Firefighter Challenge – Sworn firefighters in full bunker gear and civilian athletes complete in their divisions against the best of the best
  • Family friendly activities and a Kid’s Challenge Course, presented by Meijer
  • The Charity Relay Challenge – Businesses and non-profits run as a team on an adjusted course for the charity of their choice
  • Food Trucks
  • Beer City Beer Tent presented by John Grace Restoration
  • Recruitment opportunities – Learn what it takes to become a member of the fire service!

More information is available on the GRFD website including how to register as a civilian athlete. View a video trailer at


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