BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service hosted its first Fire Science Challenge Day Thursday, a hands-on learning experience for Birmingham City School students.

Students got a crash course on what it’s like to be a firefighter. Everything from trying on protective equipment to repelling a building, and these students turned up the heat with some friendly competition.

Held at the fire department’s drill field behind fire station 20, students from Wenonah, Parker, Huffman, and Midfield also participated in several challenges like a quick dress contest and an obstacle course.

Birmingham Fire Chief Cory Moon said it encourages team-building skills that help prepare students for a career in the fire service and in life.

“Part of being a firefighter is having that team mentality. So to see the kids in the high school programs already exhibiting the team aspect is already a leg up for when they become firefighters,” Chief Moon said. “I saw some great work out here. I saw some good competition and I saw some good firefighters that could possibly be my replacement one day.”

Chief Moon also said he enjoys seeing the students excited about this program and eager to learn more about a future career.

The winner of each category won prizes and the overall winner got to take home a championship belt and bragging rights, of course.