Annual Fitness Testing Ranks Local Firefighters at the Top

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BBFD Firefighters were recognized for their performance by Chief Willis at December Board meeting. Pictured: Apprentice Firefighter/EMTs Sutherland, Winfield and Cole, Engineer/Paramedics Whitmore, Bidwell and McDaniels, Fire Chief Willis. Not Pictured: Captain/Paramedic Wagner, Engineer/Paramedics B. Willis and Lambert and Firefighter/Paramedics Picciano and Medeck


BIG BEAR, CA/January 4, 2017– Big Bear Fire Department is recognized as the Most Fit Fire Department in 2016. They have achieved this distinction for five years running from Fitness Appraisal, Inc. (FAI). Once a year, firefighters are put through an intensive physical fitness screening process. FAI Exercise Physiologist Bob Antonacci tests firefighters with an array of physical fitness testing equipment and blood tests. Big Bear Fire Department has surpassed the ideal standard of 1500 points, topping the rankings for 2016 achieving an average performance score of 1690.8.

Each year, FAI determines the Most Fit Fire Department among its clients based on the average Physical Performance Score among all firefighters in each department they test. The ideal standard is 1500. “This was a stellar year for Big Bear Fire Department,” Mr. Antonacci wrote in his report. “The level of commitment and enthusiasm concerning their performance in the program was at an all-time high.” Big Bear Fire Department’s Chief Willis commented, “I am so proud of our firefighters; they are highly motivated to maintain their personal health and fitness. This past year, only five firefighters in the department fell below the ideal standard.”

Ten of the Department’s firefighters scored above 1,800 points and were recognized for their accomplishments at the December 13, 2016, Big Bear Fire Authority Board meeting. Those recognized include Engineer/Paramedics Jim McDaniel, Jon Bidwell and Brian Lambert who scored above 2,000; Engineer/Paramedics Bobby Whitmore and Brandon Willis, Apprentice Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin Cole and Apprentice Firefighter/EMT Brandon Medeck scored between 1900 and 1999; and Firefighter/Paramedic Picciano, Apprentice Firefighter/EMT Ross Winfield, Captain/Paramedic Luke Wagner and Apprentice Firefighter/EMT Shawn Sutherland scored between 1800 and 1899. Eight firefighters scored between 1500 and 1799.

Following closely on the heels of Big Bear Fire Department’s performance ranking are departments from Del Mar, with a score of 1,681 and Morongo, with a score of 1643.3. Other departments tested include Atascadero, Barstow, Barona, Camp Roberts, Rialto, Ross Valley and Solana Beach, CA, in addition to Prescott, AZ.

Results of the fitness testing provide a wealth of information for the individual being tested and is grouped into an overall rating for the fitness level of the department. This information is vital to the training plans for the coming year.

For additional information, please contact Big Bear Fire Department at or (909) 866-7566.





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Big Bear Fire Department
41090 Big Bear Blvd.
PO Box 2830
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
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