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Minneapolis Firefighter Kalimba Edwards Out To Prove She's 'Tough As Nails'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minneapolis fire captain is starring in a TV reality show competition that premieres next week.

Kalimba Edwards was in California for six months this summer filming the new season of CBS's "Tough as Nails." The show pits 12 people against each other in physical competitions that test strength, life skills and mental toughness.

Edwards is competing for a $200,000 prize.

"Being a firefighter, especially in a large metropolitan area, we're used to working under pressure," Edwards said. "I'm used to working with different people, different crews, getting a task done no matter who you're working with."

Edwards can't get into the specifics of the competitions, but she says it's a lot of blue-collar trade skills like carpentry and plumbing. She said some things she did on the show were more physically challenging than fighting fires.

"We all went through some highs and lows," Edwards said. "You're taxed, like not only physically but mentally and emotionally. It was draining. You're doing things you've never done before."

Co-workers excited to watch the show say Edwards is perfect for a show like this because of her toughness and her persistence.

Kalimba Edwards
Kalimba Edwards (credit: CBS)

"I don't want to get all teary-eyed, but she, you know, she's come a long way," said Ed Montiel, a fire management officer with the Minneapolis Fire Department. "Just [becoming] a captain, that's a long road and it's not easy."

Edwards gained a bit of bragging rights too from one of the promo clips for her stint on the show.

"Kalimba Edwards, on paper certainly, is the strongest woman that we have ever had on 'Tough as Nails,'" host Phil Keoghan said. "Just in terms of sheer power."

Edwards admits she's played that video over and over.

"I want that to be on the loudspeaker of the station when I walk though, like, 'Excuse me, people,'" she said.

Edwards will watch the premiere with her family while her coworkers have a viewing party at the fire station.

The new season of "Tough as Nails" premieres on CBS next Wednesday after "Survivor" at 8 p.m.

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