Firefighters are gearing up for the North Island Firefighter Combat Challenge, happening in Whanganui this weekend.


Senior firefighter Ian Tanner, who is part of the organising committee, said 12 Whanganui firefighters will join the challenge at Laird Park tomorrow.


Mr Tanner said 125 firefighters from around the North Island would be taking part, including a team from Bulls and someone from Taihape.


The challenge is for both individuals and teams.

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People who want to come along on the day and watch will see firefighters in their full fire gear, including breathing masks.


"So, basically, we wear the same gear we go into a building fire with," Mr Tanner said.


Activities include running up a specially made six-storey scaffolding tower, dragging hoses, moving railway sleepers, squirting targets with the hoses, and dragging an 80-kilogram dummy.


"The catchphrase is 'the toughest two minutes in sport' ... it's certainly a good challenge," Mr Tanner said.


"Some people do it very, very fast. Some people can take up to 15 minutes."


The event is being held from 8.30am to 6pm and is run by the United Fire Brigades Association.


"It's been the largest regional competition they've had," Mr Tanner said.


He said the event was tied in with this year's 150th jubilee celebrations.


A team from Christchurch was coming up for the competition to use it as a practice run. They were going to compete in the nationals in April and might be going on to the worlds.


Mr Tanner invited members of the public to come and watch the free event tomorrow.