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Elko District Office
Release Date: 07/21/14
Contacts: 775-753-0386    
News Release No. ELDO 2014-046

Ruby Mountain Hotshot crew wins BLM Fitness Challenge

The 2013 Ruby Mountain Hotshots with the BLM fitness challenge trophyELKO, Nev. – The Ruby Mountain Interagency Hotshot crew was awarded the BLM Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) Fitness Challenge Trophy for having the highest average physical fitness score of 11 crews across the nation.

The purpose of the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge is to create a system that measures an individual's level of fitness, help them create goals, track their fitness improvements and provide recognition for individual efforts. The Ruby Mountain Hotshots scored an average 312.6 points with the top score belonging to Tim Hart with 381 points.

The IHC Fitness Challenge Trophy was created to take it a step further and promote healthy competition between the BLM Interagency Hotshot Crews. The trophy features two full size Pulaskis with all 11 BLM Hotshot Crew's insignias etched into the handles, multiple placards for commemorating each year's victor and a hook for hanging the current trophy holders hard hat during the year of their accomplishment.

"This award is a great accomplishment for the crew and it shows that our employees are dedicated to their fitness and setting the example for the fire community,” said Ruby Mountain IHC Superintendent Craig Cunningham. “If you want to be the best, then you have to beat the best."

The test consists of four exercises: push ups, pull ups, sit ups and a 1.5 mile or 3 mile run. The individual is given points for each category which is then totaled and averaged for the crew. In 2013 – its inaugural year - the Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshots of BLM Alaska were awarded the trophy for averaging a score of 311 out of a possible 400 points.

Many times individual fitness is the limiting factor on work production in wildland firefighting. Fatigue has been found to be a contributing factor in many accidents, and numerous studies have proven that physical fitness is a good way to mitigate fatigue.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Elko District Office   3900 E. Idaho St.      Elko, NV 89801  

Last updated: 04-17-2015