New Jersey firefighters compete in fitness challege

August 18, 2013 3:54:50 PM PDT
A group of local firefighters took part in a unique fitness challenge organized by a charity started by a Philadelphia Eagles player.

"It was really challenging. A lot of the events were similar in everyday conditions when we fight a fire. It was tough but we worked as a team and got through it," said Andrew Einstein, Mt. Laurel Fire Company.

"All Hands Working," put on the challenge. The non-profit was formed by Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins who was a firefighter before being drafted.

Joe Gordon is President of "All Hands Working."

"Heart attack is the number one killer of firefighters so we run events like this to show people and firefighters you have to be fit to do the job. You have to train specifically as a firefighter not just throw weights around," said Gordon.

"We have trainers for every professional sport and they only have to play for maybe two hours. I've got a firefighter that may be in a firefight for maybe four, five or six hours," said Mardi Grant, Leary Firefighters Foundation.

Before the competition began, there was some nerves - surprising, considering these men and women battle blazes.

"We are excited, nervous; it's a little intimidating, the obstacles, but we are ready to go," said Amanda Harley, Concordville Fire Company.

Proceeds from Sunday's fundraiser will fund physical fitness equipment and training for regional firefighters.

The demands of the job are rigorous and evident by this fitness challenge.

"It's great! We're all from different departments but we are all one team. Even though we're competing against each other, we all want everybody to finish and do a good job. We're all rooting for one another," said Einstein.

Organizers say Cybex International and Gymsource have been instrumental in helping "All Hands Working" and they've provided vital equipment to help area fire companies.

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