Exploring the Impact of Firefighter Trainee Fitness on Academy Graduation or Release

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of fitness test performance on firefighter trainee ability to graduate an academy using ordinal logistic generalized linear models. Retrospective analysis was conducted on trainee data (N 5 686) from one fire department who completed an occupational physical ability test (OPAT) that included the following: Illinois agility test (IAT); push-ups; pull-ups; leg tucks; maximal aerobic capacity (V̇O2max); backward overhead 4.54-kg medicine ball throw (BOMBT); 10-repetition maximum deadlift; and 91.44-m farmer’s carry. Data were recorded in raw and scaled scores based on internal scoring (tests scored from 0 to 100; maximum total OPAT score of 800). Trainees were split into graduated (n 5 576) or released (n 5 110) groups. Data were analyzed through ordinal logistic generalized linear models (p , 0.05). Raw and scaled scores were investigated separately, with odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) produced. Regarding raw scores, there was a difference in the odds of graduating relative to the IAT (OR 5 1.357; CI 5 1.047–1.760; p 5 0.021), BOMBT (OR 5 0.744; CI 5 0.628–0.882; p , 0.001), and V̇O2max (OR 5 0.907; CI 5 0.862–0.954; p , 0.001). For scaled scores, there was a difference in the odds of graduating relative to the points attained for the BOMBT (OR 5 0.985; CI 5 0.972–0.999; p 5 0.032), deadlift (OR 5 0.982; CI 5 0.968–0.995; p 5 0.008), and total OPAT (OR 5 0.994; CI 5 0.988–1.000; p 5 0.047). Change-of-direction speed (IAT), total-body power (BOMBT), aerobic fitness (V̇O2max), lower-body strength (deadlift), and overall fitness (total OPAT points) impacted the odds of trainee fire academy graduation. The IAT presented as the largest impacting variable where, for every unit increase in time (i.e., a slower IAT), there was 1.36 greater chance of a trainee being released from the academy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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