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Battle of the bravest: Cop, firefighter recruits go head-to-head

Friday - 10/18/2013, 3:06pm  ET

Thomas Adams, a fire recruit, crosses the line first among runners in the elite group. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
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OXON HILL, Md. -- Run for safety.

No, we're not facing impending doom. Rather, the future defenders of public safety went on a training run, but this one had something extra on the line.

Friday morning, 50 police cadets and 24 fire recruits in Prince George's County met near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge for a joint training run.

So which recruits are quicker on their feet?

"There's not an attempt for police to beat fire or fire to beat police," says Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, deadpan.

While his tone sounded like a coach giving the "we-respect-our-opponents" line, some trainers talked a little smack and joked about odds making.

In truth, the joint run has been a long time in coming and one with a practical purpose.

"This is about our two teams of recruits having the opportunity to intermingle with each other," Bashoor says. "They're going to be on the streets together for the next 20 years or more."

He joined Rushern Baker, the county executive, on the 4.3-mile run. To their knowledge, Friday's run with the two groups of trainees was the first of its kind in the county.

In three waves -- based on ability -- the runners set off. The elite group started 14 minutes after the first runners.

In the end, fire recruits showed they know how to get places fast. They led the pack in each of the three groups.

Thomas Adams from Orlando, Fla. posted the best time overall.

"We're first to the scene, first to respond," he says. "We gotta be fast."

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