Meet Local Firefighter Caden Wilson

Get to know the Port St. Lucie resident, his shoot for the world-famous Australian Firefighters Calendar Down Under, and more

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Caden Wilson is featured in April of the Australian Firefighters Dog Calendar. Courtesy of Australian Firefighters Calendar
Caden Wilson is featured in April of the Australian Firefighters Dog Calendar. Courtesy of Australian Firefighters Calendar

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business, 27-year-old Caden Wilson has been serving St. Lucie County as a firefighter and paramedic since 2018. He’s also pretty savvy on social media, accumulating more than 1.5 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined (@caden_troy). Earlier this year, the director of the world-famous Australian Firefighters Calendar—which has raised nearly $3.5 million for various charities since it launched in 1993—took notice and invited Wilson to be part of the 2024 calendar (posing with some adorable animals!).

Read on to get to know more about the Port St. Lucie resident, his steamy shoot Down Under, and the St. Lucie County Fire District’s experience at the World Firefighter Challenge. 

Photo courtesy of Caden Wilson
Photo courtesy of Caden Wilson

3 Questions with St. Lucie Firefighter Caden Wilson

How did an American end up in the Australian Firefighters Calendar?

CW: We live on one planet, and these calendars benefit a lot of wildlife, environmental, and conservation charities. That’s a super good message that I can take home to the States through my social media. 

Tell us a little bit about your experience at the shoot.

CW: We shot primarily on the Gold Coast. At Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, I posed with koalas, meerkats, horses, baby deer, bunnies, goats, monkeys, and dogs. Holding a koala was a super cool experience, and I’d say I was most hesitant about the snakes!

Do you have a favorite month?

CW: April is Autism Awareness Month, and my older brother was diagnosed with autism. I love him, and he helped shape who I am today. I have a [puzzle piece] tattoo on my chest that I got for him. 

To purchase a 2024 Australian Firefighters Calendar ($17.99), visit australianfirefighterscalendar.com. 

World Firefighter Challenge. Photo by Lance Brimmage/Zero Dark Thirty Media
World Firefighter Challenge. Photo by Lance Brimmage/Zero Dark Thirty Media

Ultimate Challenge

Since 1991, the World Firefighter Challenge has tested the limits of fire rescue teams all over the world. Teams compete at the annual competition in obstacle course–like challenges that simulate the physical demands required of firefighters on the job. For three consecutive years, the St. Lucie County squad achieved the highest overall team score in one of the main events—the FD Showdown—and in October, they headed to Stuart Beach to once again participate in the competition. 

World Firefighter Challenge. Photo by Lance Brimmage_Zero Dark Thirty Media
World Firefighter Challenge. Photo by Lance Brimmage/Zero Dark Thirty Media

“The Firefighter Challenge Team is the elite one percent of the fire service that has taken lifesaving and made it a sport,” says Lt. Matt Coney, co-captain of the 29-person
St. Lucie team (which includes Aussie calendar man Caden Wilson). 

Deemed the “toughest two minutes in sports” by ESPN, obstacles include dragging a 175-pound mannequin, carrying a 42-pound pack up a tower, and hitting a Keiser Sled (a challenge that requires firefighters to move a 150-pound piece of steel by means of swinging a hammer, meant to simulate the act of forceable entry). Male and female firefighters compete in individual, team, and relay categories in timed races while wearing full bunker gear.

The St. Lucie team trains at a complex on the Indian River State College campus in Fort Pierce. Martin County Fire Rescue and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue also compete in the annual event. Learn more about the World Firefighter Challenge at firefighterchallenge.com. 

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