You can’t always wait for the cavalry when you need to move someone who’s unconscious or injured. The fireman’s carry was born of this necessity; a fireman separated from the rest of his company might need to rescue someone from a burning building without help. We asked Orem, UT, fireman Kevin Wilkey—a powerlifter and strongman champion—to walk us through the proper steps to pulling off this useful, and potentially lifesaving, feat of strength.

“It’s a demanding lift in terms of strength, but the technique is everything,” Wilkey says. “I’ve seen guys who could lift a car have trouble with this because they didn’t really know the technique. Once you nail the technique, it should be pretty easy. You’re using the person’s joints to your advantage.” Well, saving lives is great and all, but can it be used to, say, impress a lady?

“How do you think I got married?” Wilkey says.

*Wilkey, 26, won the triple Crown Strength national Championship in Utah on april 28. his best gym lifts are a 550-pound squat, a 610-pound deadlift, a 360-pound bench press, and a 320-pound overhead press.


How to Carry a Person

Carry 1


Bend the person’s knees so that their feet are flat on the ground. Grab their hands and pull them into a situp position.

Carry 2

Lean back pulling as fast as you can— Wilkey likens it to the initial movement in a snatch— so that the person is standing straight up. Immediately drop to one knee and drive your shoulder into the person’s abdomen.

Carry 3

Clasp your hands behind their back and stand up from the lunge position. You’re ready to walk off with your prize. In the up position, you can hold the person with one arm and use your free arm for balance.