Jared Johnson, 3rd Generation Firefighter, with 10 years on the job experience, representing Team ATX and the Austin Fire Department.
I chose to become a firefighter for a variety of reasons. Growing up, I watched my Pops get a lot of pride and fulfillment out of his career as a firefighter. I remember him taking me to the fire station and showing me the fire trucks, letting me wear his fire gear, and “play” with the fire equipment. I believe that is what really sparked my interest as I started contemplating what exactly I wanted to do with my professional life.
The process of becoming a firefighter was not easy. It taught me a lot about myself; about demanding work, perseverance, committing to a goal and never giving up. I successfully obtained my fire and EMT certifications, but little did I know the challenging work was just beginning. I’m a big believer in “hard work always wins,” and that is something I continue to live by to this day.
Flash forward ten years, I can honestly say it has been an amazing journey. The ability for a team to come together and put their life and safety at risk in order to help someone in need; there just isn’t any better feeling. A firefighter is willing to show up at all costs and get the job done, no excuses or exceptions, and I am proud to have the opportunity to do that daily.
I frequently get asked what inspired me to compete in the Firefighter Challenge, and the answer is simple. In one word it’s “accountability.” The competition provides me an opportunity to push myself through fire-related job tasks that are both physically demanding and mentally challenging.
Over the past seven years of competing in the Firefighter Challenge, I have earned hundreds of medals, become a Lion’s Den Member, won nine National and World Championships, held the Tandem World Record and the Texas State Record, earned the 2020 King of the Jungle, and have a personal best run time of 1:16. But what I’m most proud of is pushing the standard for firefighter health and fitness. During that time, I have had the opportunity to assist hundreds of firefighters to lose weight, improve their personal health and fitness, and increase performance, strength, and conditioning. Nothing feels better than knowing you played a small role in someone’s success in becoming a fitter and better version of themselves.
I am proud to say I have partnered with Lakeland as my number one gear of choice. I chose Lakeland not only because their gear spec is one of the most custom, athletic fit, and mobile options on the market today, but because the standard they set internally to ensure firefighters have the best and safest gear options available is at their highest level of concern. Every interaction I have with the Lakeland Team feels as if I am part of the family and my priorities are their primary focus. Since teaming with Lakeland, the consistency in my Firefighter Challenge race times have improved and I have been able to drop my personal best time. I give credit to the quality of the gear I am racing in. Key attributes I believe have allowed me further success are the custom fit features that provide for a full range of motion, the lightweight material that allows for better agility and efficient movement patterns, and the smooth inner liner that reduces friction and resistance when you move while performing activity. Hands-down Lakeland has out done themselves with my custom gear.