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Alachua County Fire Rescue’s new training equipment put to the test

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 8:34 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County firefighters have a new method of gauging their physical fitness and improving their training.

The fireground physical ability test is a new program from “Firesled fitness and training” that gives firefighters the ability to train using equipment and techniques that simulate the tasks they would do on the job. The fitness initiative that ACFR used previously involved routine exercises like the treadmill, pushups, and situps, but they plan to use this program as their new annual benchmark.

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Captain Karem Scott-Kotb said ACFR is one of the first in the state to use this equipment for training.

“Tool carries, ladder carry, ladder climb, forceable entry so it touches many different aspects of what we’d have to do on an actual fire scene,” Scott-Kotb said. “The Punisher is using a sledgehammer to hit a weighted sled on top of a sled simulating us forcing entry to a door of an apartment or a home.”

In addition to annual testing and training for current firefighters, ACFR also plans to use the program during their hiring process to ensure new recruits are physically capable.

“We’ll use this as a standard that we set so if you pass this test, that will show us you’re physically fit enough and capable of doing this job,” said Scott-Kotb.

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