BACKGROUND: Firefighting competitions (FFC) are emerging as a novel sport among first responders; however, limited research exists to describe the anthropometric characteristics associated with competition performance. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify anthropometric characteristics associated with FFC time among firefighters (FF). METHODS: Twenty-five FF (21 males, 4 females; aged 32±6 y) volunteered for this study. Height was measured using a portable stadiometer, and body composition and mass were measured using whole-body bioelectrical impedance. All FF competed in one of three categories: individual, tandem, or relay. The FFC was performed in personal protective equipment and involved the timed (sec) completion of a high rise carry, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance, and victim rescue task. Of the 25 FF, 14 (11 male, 3 female) ran as individuals (completed the entire course). Descriptive statistics are presented as mean ± standard deviation, and the relationships between metrics and completion time were assessed using Pearson’s correlations (r) with α ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: The group mean height, %BF, and BMI were 179.1±8.3 cm, 23.0±7.8% and 28.9±3.3 kg•m-2, respectively. The mean time to complete the course in the individual event was 132.4±46.3 seconds. Overall, the group mean BMI fell into the overweight category. When separated by sex and ranked according to ACSM standards, females were classified as poor and males as fair for %BF. There was a strong correlation between %BF and Time (r=0.73, p=0.003), a weak correlation between BMI and Time (r=0.34, p=0.240), and a moderate correlation between Height and Time (r=0.43, p=0.128). CONCLUSIONS: The strong correlation seen between %BF and Time suggests a higher %BF may be detrimental to performance, although this relationship was largely driven by the female FF. Interestingly, height exhibited a positive moderate relationship with completion time, suggesting that taller competitors may be at a disadvantage in FFC performance despite conflicting evidence in other studies examining FF job task performance. Future research should further investigate sex differences, as both male and female FF are expected to complete the same occupational duties and FFC tasks.

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