Wilmington firefighters test their fitness

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington firefighters are putting their skills to the test in the annual fit-for-duty testing.

All firefighters in the department, including the chief and assistant chiefs, will take part in the week long test at the Greenfield Lake Training Tower.

Fire chief Buddy Martinette is making the test a requirement for all uniformed personnel at the department.

"We are trying to create a culture in the department where the firefighters come in and we care about their wellness and fitness," said Martinette.  "We maintain their wellness and fitness.  When they retire, they are equally as healthy."

Being a firefighter is a tough, strenuous job that will frequently push bodies to the limit.  To make sure they are fit for duty, firefighters must successfully complete five basic firefighting tasks.

The tests are:

Task #1 - Victim Drag - Assess the firefighter's ability to rescue a victim.

Task #2 - Ladder Raise - Assess the firefighter's ability to lift, set up and lower a 24-foot ladder.

Task #3 High Rise Pack/Stair Climb/Hose Hoist - Assess the firefighter's ability to carry a pack with 100 feet of hose up two flights of stairs, hoist an empty hose with nozzle, and then return to the starting point.

Task #4 Hose Drag - Assess the firefighter's ability to carry a hose with water running through it for 100 feet.

Task #5 Equipment Carry - Assess the firefighter's ability to carry two power saws 100 feet.

"We are going to make this a yearly thing to make sure the service we provide the public is a quality service and that we care for our firefighters and they are fit for duty," said Martinette.

Chief Martinette said that potential WFD firefighters will have to go through the same training before they are hired.

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