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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2014

Battle of the Badges: Who will prevail?

By Airman 1st Class Stormy Archer Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

The fourth annual Joint Base San Antonio Battle of the Badges took place Sept. 27, 2014, at JBSA-Randolph Camp Talon Fire Training Area and Eberle Park.

Members of the 802nd Security Forces Squadron from JBSA-Lackland, 902nd SFS from JBSA-Randolph and firefighters from JBSA Fire Emergency Services took part in the event designed to build stronger bonds between the two agencies.

"This event helps build a brotherhood between the fire department and security forces, Said Staff Sgt. Michal Hoh, Joint Base San Antonio fire Emergency Services firefighter. "It helps us get to know the people we work with every day. When you show up on scene it is good to already know the people you will see and how to work with them."

The competition included a force-on-force exercise with the firefighters and security forces members squaring off against each other with weapons loaded with paint rounds and a firefighter challenge. The firefighter challenge was an obstacle course that included carrying a pack of gear up three flights of stairs, hoisting a bundle of hose from the ground with a rope, dragging a weighted dummy and hitting a target with a charged fire hose.

"This is a great event because the job we do is very serious and demanding," said Maj. Julia Jefferson, 902nd SFS commander. "Being a first responder, whether from the fire department or security forces, our job is to protect, defend, and provide safety for others. This is an awesome opportunity to put that aside for a little bit, have some fun and build camaraderie and cohesion with those that we serve with on a regular basis."

In addition to the active duty members and civilians representing security forces and firefighters; family members and friends attended the competition.

"I think it's important for our families and loved ones to see and understand what we do, and to see the pride we have in our duty, and the physical fitness, strength and stamina required to be a first responder," said Jefferson.

The firefighters were hoping to capture their fourth straight victory. Currently the competition is tied heading into the final event, after security forces won the force-on-force exercise and the firefighters won the firefighter challenge. Because of rain, the tie-breaking fire truck pull has been postponed, and a victor will not be crowned until a later date.