Friday, April 25, 2014

BLM Hotshot Fitness Trophy Creates Healthy Competition for Crews

With the upcoming fire season on the horizon, preparation and physical training is ramping up for individuals among the Bureau of Land Management Interagency Hotshot Crews or IHCs. During the first 80 hours of critical training, most BLM IHC's participate in the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge, and the crew with the highest average score is awarded the BLM IHC Fitness Challenge Trophy.

The test consists of four exercises: push ups, pull ups, sit ups and a 1.5 mile or 3 mile run. The individual is given points for each category which is then totaled and averaged for the crew. In 2013, the Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshots were awarded the trophy for averaging a score of 311 out of a possible 400 points and setting the bar for years to come…

The purpose of the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge is to create a system that measures an individual's level of fitness, help them create goals, track their fitness improvements and provide recognition for individual efforts. The IHC Fitness Challenge Trophy was created to take it a step further and promote healthy competition between the BLM Interagency Hotshot Crews. The trophy features two full size Pulaskis with all 11 BLM Hotshot Crew's insignias etched into the handles, multiple placards for commemorating each year's victor and a hook for hanging the current trophy holders hard hat during the year of their accomplishment.

It is important to note that the BLM Fitness Challenge was created for all fire personnel. Physical fitness is an important aspect of wildland fire that helps to reduce the number of injuries firefighters incur each year on the fire line and in training. The goal in creating the trophy is to try and reach out not only to the BLM Interagency Hotshot Crews, but firefighters in all aspects of wildland fire with the intent to help lead the way in promoting the importance of physical fitness.

For more information about the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge, please visit

By: Miles Bond, BLM Alaska

This story is a reprint from The BLM Daily, April 16, 2014.

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