The 8th Battle for the Fittest Public Safety Division of the Year

by Joshua Gaskins, M.S. Senior Fitness Trainer, Division of Fitness and Wellness, Department of Human Resources

From the first hour through the last, the 2024 Public Safety Games truly revealed the heart and character of both sworn and civilian employees within the Police Division, Division of Fire, and the Sheriff’s Office. The 8th annual friendly, fitness competition for the Fittest Public Safety Division of the year turned out to be the greatest yet. This year the Human Resources Department’s Division of Fitness and Wellness provided mobility fitness tools as an incentive to the first 30 registered participants and for all challenge winners.  For five weeks (April 8 to May 10) over 120 different individuals from three public safety agencies participated in various events:

The “Command Staff Challenge” kickoff.  A team from each agency command staff worked together to complete an accuracy “Free Throw Challenge,” a communication “Blinded Maze Challenge,” and a synergy “Tangram Challenge.” The energy from the camaraderie amongst the teams established the atmosphere for the rest of the competition.  Each team enjoyed the challenges, and the Division of Fire led the way with a 132-point lead.

The “Team Challenge”.  Over the 4-week time period of qualifying events, teams of 2 competitors whether male, female, or coed competed against one another in the endurance “Double Deuce” challenge, the work capacity “Yard Work” Challenge, and the strength “Tetrathlon” challenge.  The top ranked teams were then qualified to go head-to-head in a final obstacle course challenge. 

The “Individual Challenge.” Over the same four-week time period, individual competitors in the masters (>45 yo) or youngsters (<45 yo) male or female divisions also completed in one or more of the endurance, work capacity and relative strength challenges. Both Police and Fire earned six 1st place medals between all of the events, including 3 athletes that were recognized as All-Around for placing 1st after completing all 3 events.

The “Mini Events.” We continued the mini events from the 2023 Public Safety Games which included 10 different honor-system challenges designed to boost the agency’s totals without the intimidation of competition. Police produced nearly double the number of points than Fire during this portion this year.

The Final Event & Rally Event. The 2024 Public Safety Games Final event began by recognizing all our amazing athletes who participated and giving medals to those who won first place in their event.  Simultaneously, two different events happened on the final day of the Public Safety Games:

  • This year two coed teams, each from Police and Fire, including Police Officer Scottie Shoemaker & Detective Ninamarie Elliott and Firefighter Wayne Clevert & Lt. Julie Jennings, respectively, faced off in the “Conquer the Hill” challenge for the 2024 bragging rights. After another tough final event was accomplished by both sides, the Division of Fire team Wayne Clevert & Julie Jennings finished first with a time of 28:24. The Division of Police team, Scottie Shoemaker & Ninamarie Elliott finished just a few short minutes after. Congratulations to the Division of Fire for claiming the top team for the sixth time!
  • Our newest addition was the Rally Event! During the rally event we invited all civilian public safety personnel to come out and join their sworn teammates to earn as many points as possible by completing ten different challenges as many times as they could. Many folks from both Police and Fire came out to support their division and each added over 19,000 points! After all the events and the points were tallied, the Division of Fire claimed the title of “The Fittest Public Safety Division” of the year for the 6th time in our Public Safety Games history!

Congratulations to the Division of Fire, and thank you to all of our athletes, civilians, and supporters who came out and made this event the best we ever had.

To view the leaderboard and all the photos from this year’s Public Safety Games, please visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint site!

The 2025 Public Safety Games are closer than you think. Our new design will soon be launched with the goal of a yearlong format including various challenges throughout.  More details coming soon!

If you are sworn public safety personnel and are interested in either the Public Safety Games or joining any of our sworn only fitness programs please contact Joshua Gaskins at [email protected] or 501-7218.

For more information about our programs, please view the Fitness and Wellness Division SharePoint or contact any of our trainers!