Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 --- 11:30 p.m.
The Madison Fire Department is taking part in a 12-week fitness challenge. It comes after recent research shows fire departments are more at risk for obesity then the general public.
According to the study 68% of Americans are overweight and obese. But for firefighters that number is between 73% to 88%.
Division Chief Lance Langer says, “One of the problems of the fire service is that firefighters actually become really good cooks they’re just not the healthiest cooks.”
Part of reclaiming their health is changing their habits. Langer says, “The stations are all cooking better. No more gyros, no more Five Guys burgers.”
The entire department is midway through the fitness challenge. It’s 110 firefighters competing on 18 teams. A challenge full of weigh in’s, assessments, and rewards to the team who loses the most weight. It’s a complete overhaul in cooking, eating, and training.
While battling the fat is a major adjustment for Langer and his department, he knows it’s a step in the right direction for himself and the community.
“It’s really not a three month process we’re all looking at long term,” said Langer.
The 12-week challenge ends April 17, 2013. Next year, the fire department hopes to include the Madison Police Department as well.