GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith is pleased to announce that a dozen members of the Gloucester Fire Department are participating in the 6th-annual Boston Bruins BFit Challenge to support first responder and military charities while also raising awareness of the importance of health and wellness.
Traditionally held at the TD Garden before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, this year’s BFit challenge is both virtual and in-person.
Firefighters, law enforcement, military members, EMS personnel and community members compete in both fundraising and total number of steps taken. First responders wear their work gear — for firefighters this means turnout gear which weighs about 60 pounds — while participating in courses with varying levels of difficulty. Many of the first responders involved walk up and down the steps of the TD Garden.
This year’s virtual challenge will be held from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, with participants using a smartphone app that counts their steps throughout the week. The in-person challenge at the TD Garden will be held on Feb. 6.
This year’s BFit Challenge fundraising goal is $600,000. Charities benefiting from the event are The 100 Club of Massachusetts, the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Campaign, the New England Fire Fighter Cancer Fund, the Massachusetts Ambulance Foundation and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, all of which support the families of fallen or critically ill first responders.
Participating from Gloucester Fire are Capt. Nick Ouellette, Capt. Chad Mota, Lt. Kevin Gargan and Firefighters Matt Aiello, Nick Aiello, Mike Porcaro, Pat Legro, Jak Letien, Charlie Scola, Andrew Pierce, Jonathan O’Bryan and Sam Rose.
Gloucester Fire Department members will participate in the virtual challenge this year. Firefighter Scola was tied for first place in overall steps during the virtual challenge held in 2021, with 350,000 steps taken during the week. The Gloucester Fire team finished in third place in 2021 for overall steps.
“I’m proud of all the Gloucester Fire Department members who are stepping up to assist fellow first responders and their families, while also putting in work to stay in great shape,” said Chief Smith. “The Gloucester Fire team did a great job last year, and I wish them luck this year as they aim to finish first in overall steps — a goal that last year’s performance shows is within reach.”
Gloucester Firefighters are hoping to raise at least $3,000 for the event.
For more information on the BFit challenge or to make a donation online, click here. Donors can select the team “Gloucester Firefighters” when making a donation, or search for individual participants. Donations can be made up until March 6.