City employees, community members help AFD determine benchmarks

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Fire Department hosted dozens of community members and city employees who volunteered to complete a training course set up by the fire department Jan. 7-8.

The training helped to determine the physical fitness benchmarks for the department’s new hires.

“This training benefits us by allowing us to develop a standardized time to measure applicants for fitness to complete the task required of a firefighter,” Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love said. “The testing utilized civilians with no firefighter training so we can evaluate applicants fairly.”

Volunteers donned a 40-pound weighted vest and completed an intense seven-station course at the Shelby County Fire and EMS Training Facility in Calera.

Love said times were measured using a diverse group of 29 individuals, both men and women, ranging in age from 19-59.

“Many of the citizens and our other department employees enjoyed the challenge of completing the task and getting a feel for what firefighters do,” Love said. “This was the first time we utilized civilians and this type of testing gave us validated data.”

Love said prior to the event, the department measured each incumbent firefighter on the same task, but the firefighters were wearing their completed protective gear and utilizing their air tanks to complete the course.

“All firefighters have to complete this task once per year in full gear in less than 7 minutes and 28 seconds,” Love said.