This past winter the members of the Madison Fire and Police Departments challenged each other with a friendly competition that promoted "strength in numbers" by connecting civilian employees, command staff, and sworn (Local 311 and MPPOA) personnel with the goal of improved health and wellness. This 12-week challenge finished in late May and was sponsored by Fire Fighters Local 311 and MPPOA (Madison Professional Police Officers Association).
The results are in and they are impressive! The 2014 Battle of the Badges was a huge success! I am proud to say that the 200 participants lost a combined 1,200 pounds with the top individuals losing over 10% of their body weight. I am also very proud to say that MFD defeated MPD by losing over 5% bodyweight (on average per MFD participant). Honestly, we all won, because healthy firefighters and police officers contribute to a healthier Madison.
This challenge helped develop healthy work environments and teamwork. Firehouses and Police Districts that were routinely full of sugary, fattening cakes and other unhealthful snacks are now displaying more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. Officers and fire crews are more routinely making time to work out and cook/eat healthfully. Next year the goal of the Fitness Challenge is to invite and "challenge" other community businesses and agencies to participate. I look forward to reporting more about the continued success of this event.
In good health,