Differences in fitness between Firefighter trainee academy classes and normative percentile rankings

Robert Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, Fernando Montes, Tomas J Ruvalcaba, J. Jay Dawes

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Abstract

Fire academy training classes may have trainees with a range of different fitness capabilities. Documentation of trainee fitness could indicate the need for flexibility in physical training emphases. Therefore, data from six academy classes (males = 274; females = 31) were analyzed, including: Illinois agility test (IAT), push-ups, pull-ups, leg tucks, multistage fitness test, backwards overhead 4.54 kg medicine ball throw (BOMBT), 10-repetition maximum deadlift, and 18 kg kettlebell farmers carry. A one-way ANOVA, with the Bonferroni post hoc test, calculated between-class fitness differences. Normative fitness test data were produced via percentile ranks. Classes 5 and 6 had the most females (n = 15). Class 1 completed the IAT faster than all classes (p ≤ 0.009). Classes 1 and 4 had a further BOMBT distance than Classes 5 and 6, and Class 3 outperformed Class 6 (p ≤ 0.044). Class 4 completed more leg tucks than Class 5 (p = 0.047). Class 1 had a greater deadlift than Classes 3, 4, and 6, and Class 2 outperformed Classes 3–6 (p ≤ 0.036). Class 3 was slower in the farmers carry compared to all classes (p ≤ 0.002). Percentile rankings showed that most females (48–100%) were in the 0–29% rank. Staff should implement individualized programs where appropriate for trainees as cohort fitness differences exist. Female trainees may need targeted maximal strength and power development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6548
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022

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