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Founder of Firefighter Challenge dies

Dr. Paul O. Davis started the competition as a way to highlight firefighters’ need to be fit for duty

By Bill Carey

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. — The founder of the Firefighter Challenge has died.

The competition’s founder, Dr. Paul O. Davis, died on May 18, Firefighter Challenge Chief Executive Officer Russell A. Jackson announced.

“His enduring commitment to the fire service via his research and the formation of the Challenge will not be forgotten,” Jackson stated in a social media post.

The competition combines firefighters’ competitive spirit with a fitness standard. The timed event required participants to navigate a course of five tasks in full gear, including a SCBA. The competition was even broadcast on ESPN.

The Firefighter Challenge was also the basis for research done by Davis and others into measuring the physical performance of firefighting tasks.

“There’s no better platform than the Firefighter Challenge to demonstrate to our stakeholders and yourself why the job exists, the objects of our preparedness, training, and focus that you have what it takes,” Davis wrote last year in his blog about the competition.

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