BACKGROUND: A majority of United States fire departments do not provide firefighters (FF) with basic resources to support exercise participation, which may contribute to the high prevalence of sedentary behaviors among FF. Firefighting competitions (FFC) are growing in popularity and may promote positive exercise behaviors in the Fire Service; however, limited research exists investigating such competitions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to collect behavioral data on FF competing in a FFC. METHODS: FF competing in a FFC were recruited on-site to complete a digital survey inquiring about exercise opportunities and behaviors. Data were collected from 20 career FF (Age: 31.1±6.1 yrs; Sex: male=16, female=4) representing nine fire departments. Survey data included exercise habits, including types, frequency, and intensity (RPE; 0-10 OMNI scale). Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions were calculated to describe data. RESULTS: Each of the nine fire departments reported time to exercise while on-duty was provided; however, FF from only seven departments indicated that on-duty exercise was made a high priority. 100% (n=20) of FF engage in exercise regularly, of which 95% (n=19) reported exercising while on-duty. Seventeen (85%) FF engaged in resistance training, most frequently two (n=5) or four (n=5) times per week with typical training RPE ranging between 3-8 (mode=7; n=5). Nineteen (95%) FF engaged in endurance training, most frequently three (n=11) times per week with typical training RPE between 3-8 (mode=7,8; n=5). The common endurance training modality was running (n=12), followed by cycling (n=11) and rowing (n=10). Nineteen FF participated in high-intensity functional training, with data encompassed in both resistance and endurance training questions. CONCLUSIONS: Fire departments should promote positive exercise behaviors by providing resources, such as qualified strength and conditioning practitioners, to support safe and effective on-duty exercise participation. Most competitors participated in a training program inclusive of both resistance and endurance training, presumably in a high-intensity functional training format. This modality of training, if scaled by fitness level, may be an efficient way for FF to train while on-duty, and present benefits that confer to FFC and occupational performance.

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