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International firefighter challenge heats up Myrtle Beach

Richard Ellis / Getty Images Contributor

Two firefighters slam a sledgehammer into a steel beam in the Firefighter Combat Challenge on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Richard Ellis / Getty Images Contributor

Racing neck and neck two firefighters drags a 175-pound mannequin backwards on Friday.

Richard Ellis / Getty Images Contributor

A firefighter aims a fire hose at a target on Friday.

Richard Ellis / Getty Images Contributor

Two firefighters hoist a 42-pound fire hose up six stories on Friday.

The annual Firefighter Combat Challenge final attracts hundreds of firefighters from around U.S. and Canada and also countries around the world including New Zealand, Germany, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.

In the five-day event, pairs of firefighters in full gear race head-to-head in a linked series of five tasks simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting.  The tasks includes the 5-story tower climb, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-size - 175 lb. "victim." The firefighters race against themselves, their opponents and the clock.

FireFighter Combat Challenge 2011 by kawasakikx250ff from YouTube.com