Cape Town - The search is on to find South Africa's toughest firefighter.
The Toughest Firefighter Alive is a two-day competition being held at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town and see contenders from around the country battle it out for the title.
The City of Cape Town is hosting the competition this year.
Firefighters from around the country have signed up for the event, which is recognised as the most difficult firefighter competition in the world.
The challenge includes an individual category as well as a relay category.
Firefighters are measured in terms of their fitness, endurance and skill sets and have to complete a number of challenges in full firefighting gear, including a hose drag, obstacle course, tower ascent and an 800 metre run.
"We are really excited to be hosting the competition this year," the City of Cape Town's safety and security chief JP Smith said.
"Firefighting can be a very physically demanding job and this competition asks some tough questions of the participants. It’s amazing to watch and just further cements the respect I have for those in the profession. South African firefighters are up there with the best and have proven themselves on the international stage.
"Last year, a male relay team came fifth overall in the European Open in Germany and the overall female winner was a firefighter from Durban, Simangele Mbanjwa. It is an honour to have some of these competitors showing off their skills in Cape Town this year," Smith said.
The Toughest Firefigher Alive – South Africa has the following objectives:
* To promote a spirit of excellence in firefighters and produce firefighters who are able compete on the international stage
* To equip firefighters with skills that enable them to perform at the peak of their abilities
* To continue to push the boundaries in delivering a better, high-quality service
* To boost firefighters’ morale whilst promote the profession through media coverage
* To promote relationship building with previously disadvantaged communities
The competition is designed to bring international standards to South Africa, improve relations between communities and emergency services and equip firefighters to deliver service excellence.