United Way of Sevier County Presents 2nd Annual First Responders Challenge 2016, (Part 2)

Here is part 2 of  my story on the First Responders Challenge event held yesterday at Sevier County High School. What an exciting event for the whole family! The following pictures and videos will give you a look at one of the best events of the year in Sevierville.

Fun introductions by Bryan McCarter as teams enter the stadium for competition. My favorite intro was for the Sevier County Sherrif’s Department, but I couldn’t catch it in time on my camera. The fighting Hosses’?  Love all the intros.

Here are some pictures that I took quickly before the competitions began. (Message me if you see any errors.)


Hard charging Pigeon Forge Police Department was the winning team of the day. Gold!


Knoxville Police Department represented Knoxvegas well, winning a Bronze medal.


Defending champions from last year, the Alcoa Fire Department.


Pigeon Forge Fire Department


Sevierville Police and Fire, nicknamed  “Holsters and Hoses.” (One of my favorite teams to watch.)


Pittman Center Fire Department


Tug-of-War is fierce!

Police vs Fire for Pigeon Forge.

More strong competition in Tug-of-War.

The obstacle course covers most of the field and provides a lot of excitement!

Teamwork to get everyone over top. A big drop down to the other side.

Approaching the obstacle course.

The guy in the back crossed that high wall well. I was rooting for him!

Sevierville Police and Fire show how to cross the wall.

A lot of speed in the video below. Did someone run track in high school?

John Hutchens’ former track students?


Kyle Grainger from WVLT Channel 8


Michael Maddron, coach, pictured left. Bryan McCarter, announcer, center. SCHS track and event coach,  John Hutchens.


The maze trail is contained within a large truck. The contestants do not know anything about the inside design and it is completely dark. And small spaces! I could see how they bump their helmets on walls and things. I believe the event is timed. To me, this would be the hardest thing of all the events!

Look at the small opening in the bottom right. Very small. Full gear and oxygen tanks add more weight too.


Officer Akers works out at my gym. I asked why he wasn’t competing, but he said that he was scheduled to work. If he competes next year then look out because he works out hard at NFC.


Part of the Shults family outside the Sevier County High School stadium. I think that the sign above applies well to them. My friend Darlene is pictured in the cranberry color. Event Chairman, John Matthews, is pictured to the far right.


Have you ever seen anyone pulling a fire truck loaded with 1,000 gallons of water?

Timed event. Must pull to cones. Coach Hutchens calling the times!

sam_1005A tough team here too!

I had to leave soon after the fire truck pull due to an appointment, but will make sure that I can stay until the end next year. This looked very interesting. A huge container of water with a ladder across the top.

In conclusion, the theme of the day was ‘overcoming obstacles.‘ Justin Shults wrote about overcoming obstacles in his life as an essay topic when he applied for a scholarship. First responders overcome obstacles every day. The United Way of Sevier County helps to fund over 15 community groups to help others overcome obstacles. It was a common thread throughout the day.

I ended my visit on an uplifting note. It was a good moment to see the Shults family honoring Justin and Stephanie Shults.


It is obvious that our community loves this family.


Our community also loves Justin and Stephanie.

In honor of them.