MOST FIT Fire Department


 FIRE BBFD Tops Fitness Oct2017.jpg

Fire Chief Jeff Willis plaque presentation to:  Firefighter/Paramedic Jake Torres, Fire Captain/Paramedic Josh Mandolini,

Fire Engineer/Paramedic Jim McDaniel and Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Sandin.  Photo courtesy of Big Bear Fire Dept



  Annual Fitness Testing Ranks

Big Bear Firefighters at the Top




October 31, 2017____

Located in Big Bear Lake, California the Big Bear Fire Department once again recognized as the Most Fit Fire Department. They have achieved this distinction for six straight years from Fitness Appraisal, Inc. (FAI). Each year, firefighters are put through an intensive physical fitness screening process. FAI Exercise Physiologist Bob Antonacci tests firefighters with an array of physical fitness testing equipment and blood tests. Big Bear Fire Department surpassed the ideal standard of 1500 points, topping the rankings for 2017, achieving an average performance score of 1731, up from 1690.8 in 2016.


Each year, FAI determines the Most Fit Fire Department among its clients based on the average Physical Performance Score among all firefighters in each department they test. The ideal standard is 1500. “First time ever for a department average to be in the 1700’s,” Mr. Antonacci wrote in his report. “The level of commitment and enthusiasm concerning their performance in the program is exemplary and a true commitment to service performance when it matters most,” commented Big Bear Fire Department’s Chief Jeff Willis. “This has a direct correlation to the meaning of teamwork and team performance.”


This year, 12 of the Department’s firefighters scored above 1800 points and were recognized for their accomplishments at the October 24, 2017, Big Bear Fire Authority Board meeting. This number is up from 10 last year. Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Sandin and Fire Engineer/Paramedic Jim McDaniel scored above 2,000; Engineer/Paramedic Jon Bidwell, and Firefighter/Paramedics Kevin Cole and Brandon Medeck scored between 1900 and 1999; Fire Captain/Paramedic Luke Wagner, Fire Engineer/Paramedic Bobby Whitmore, Firefighter/Paramedics Matt Sheehan and Jake Torres, and Apprentice Firefighter/EMTs Dylan Unger and Ross Winfield scored between 1800 and 1899. Nineteen additional firefighters scored between 1500 and 1799, up from eight last year. Fire Captain/Paramedic Josh Mandolini, who scored above 1600, was recognized as the most improved over last year. Only two firefighters scored below the ideal 1500.


Following behind Big Bear Fire Department’s performance ranking are departments from Paso Robles, with a score of 1,675.2 and Ross Valley, with a score of 1646.6. Other departments tested include Atascadero, Barstow, Barona, Camp Roberts, Rialto, Ross Valley and Tiburon, CA, in addition to Prescott, AZ.


Results of the fitness testing provide a wealth of information for the individual being tested and is grouped into an overall rating for the fitness level of the department. This information is vital to the training plans for the coming year.