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7th Annual Fire Explorer Combat Challenge at Bayshore Town Center May 30th

On Saturday May 30 from 9 am until about 2 pm, North Shore Fire/Rescue Explorer Post 705 will host the 7th Annual Fire Explorer Combat Challenge in conjunction with Bayshore Safety Day at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale. This is the third year the event has been hosted at Bayshore Town Center during its Safety Day. This year's event will once again be held right in the midst of all the Safety Day activity in the Town Square.

Lt. Dan Tyk will be a special live guest Friday on the CBS 58 News at 4:30 p.m. along with arson dog Glory.

Approximately 70 young adults, ages fourteen to twenty-one, will be competing. These young competitors come from many different fire departments spanning several parts of Wisconsin and Illinois.

The Explorer Combat Challenge is nearly identical to the Firefighter Combat Challenge for professional firefighters as seen on ESPN. The challenge consists of simulated firefighting events including a stair climb while carrying hose, pulling hose up to a third story window from the exterior, simulating forced entry to a structure, advancing a hose line on level ground and rescuing a victim from a fire.

Awards are given for best individual, combined team, and team-relay event times. The combat challenge is made possible with support from State Farm Insurance, Bayshore Town Center, North Shore Fire/Rescue, North Shore Professional Firefighters Local 1440, Mead Cabinets and Millwork, Boy Scouts of America and Paul Conway Shields.

In addition to the combat challenge, Bayshore Safety Day has lots to do for the entire family. Several emergency response vehicle displays, tours, demonstrations and exhibits will be available from 10 am-3 pm throughout the Town Square.

New this year, State Farm® presents Beloit Fire Department Lieutenant and Arson Investigator Keith Lynn and his canine partner, Glory. The team will be present to demonstrate their role in arson detection and investigation.

State Farm has been a sponsor of the Arson Dog Program since 1993. Lynn and Glory are one of the more than 350 arson dog teams in the United States and Canada trained through the State Farm Arson Dog Program by Maine Specialty Dogs. These arson investigation teams assist local and state law enforcement officers in investigating fires. Glory was a 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Award finalist in the Arson Dog category.

The U.S. Fire Administration reported that from 2010 - 2012, there were more than 26,400 intentionally set fires each year that burned homes and commercial buildings. These fires caused at least 275 deaths, 800 injuries and $795 million in property damage and loss. The actual number of arson fires and amount of property damage is likely much higher as arson is an underreported crime. Arson dogs played a key role in determining the cause of many of these fires.

In addition, State Farm is proud to introduce USMC Cpl. Matt Hatala and his lab, Chaney, who retired from the Marines in 2013 after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an IED detection dog. While deployed with Cpl. Hatala, Chaney not only saved countless lives by locating IEDs, but he also served as a great morale booster for everyone in his squad.

Since retiring, Chaney was adopted by Cpl. Hatala and they now spend many hours volunteering around the Midwest for a nonprofit organization called Retrieving Freedom, Inc., which trains service dogs for disabled veterans and children with autism. In September 2014, Chaney was honored as the Military Dog of the Year at the fourth annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ with Cpl. Hatala giving an impassioned acceptance speech on the importance of all veterans helping their fellow veterans in need.

State Farm also will be making available a limited number of free children's books about Arson Dogs. One of the books was written by local author Shawn Lynn, whose husband is Arson Investigator Keith Lynn. The book, \"Bobo's Bandana\" focuses on introducing children to the world of arson detection canines and the importance of creating and practicing an escape route.

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