Firefighters from around the nation will be in Tyler to compete in the annual National Firefighter Combat Challenge at Broadway Square Mall beginning Thursday. This competition pits firefighters against one another racing through a course that is designed to simulate some of the day to day obstacles that firefighters face while fighting fires.

This year marks the ninth year that the competition has been hosted by the city of Tyler, but it's the first year for the national competition, which spans three days instead of the usual two days as in years past. The event is free to the public and spectators are encouraged to watch the competition and to cheer their favorite competitor on!

The obstacles that the firefighters face took more than a year of research to design and were originally used to identify potential applicants. The physicality of the test is the driving engine behind the obstacles, which include the high rise hose drag, the hose hoist, the forcible entry, the hose advance and victim rescue. Tyler Fire Chief Tim Johnson says, "The event is good fellowship for the participants, and great fun to watch for the spectators."

Check out the Facebook page for the latest and updated throughout the competition!