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Physical Fitness

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  • Physical Fitness

    How many departments out there have a good work out program?
    Do you have your own facilities or use outside centers?
    Is working out encouraged and or mandatory?

    In our department we have one hour 16:30 until 15:30 that we are allowed to work out. But ussually we have not finished our other duties by then. We have a very small work out area with some free weights. There is no encouragment to work out. Our city recently opened a new community center with a fitness area and indoor track. We havent even been able to get approval to pay for our own memberships and work out there on duty.

    Does any one know were I can look on heart attack stats on firefighter heart attacks, "not just deaths"?

  • #2
    Being on a Vol. Dept., mainly comprised of FF's, that in my opinion shouldn't be riding out on the apperatus due to their health/condition. It's a safety issue to me, this motivates me to work out. The town/city we cover used to pay full admission to a local gym for us, they pay half of the total now which is still a good deal. However, working around people, who get winded moving a small PPV fans from the vehciles to the structures, make me want to get and stay into good shape. Knowing how much effort goes into chopping a vent. hole in the roof w/ airpack, doing all the work yourself it gets tiring very quickly. I suppose having the feeling, that you know you could have done more work or done it better if you were in better shape helps to encourage me/others to get out and workout. I doubt any of this blabering helped, I hope it could have in one way or another .

    Stay safe!


    • #3
      There was a nationvide study named "Deadly Smoke" released in 1983 on firefighter health.
      One of their findings was that a firefighter's chance of getting a cardiovascular disease was above 155% , compared to the average !

      I am not sure if I agree with you about gym fees, time to train at work,etc.
      I consider myself lucky to be in a job that gives me ample off duty time to stay in shape. A basic job requirement for us is to be in good physical condition, it is our own responsibillity to get there.

      The more a firehouse turns into a recreational club, the public gets an image of a bunch of guys chillin' on taxpayers money.
      The only responsibillity your Fire Department has is to ensure that their employees are able to perform their duties by yearly health checks / physical tests. Unfit people should not be in the active fire service.


      • #4
        Originally posted by BFD847:
        In our department we have one hour 16:30 until 15:30 that we are allowed to work out.

        Time goes backwards in Missouri?

        Anyway. Physical fitness is something that only an individual can do. I know first hand. "Command PT" just doesn't work. When our ship had "Command PT", I either A- didn't want to get up at 5am (which I don't, and still don't) B- Had duty or C- If I went, made sarcastic comments and laughed a lot (at least my lungs got exercise). However, working out on my own, I do it for 2-2 1/2 hours per session.

        I'd say roughly, since I haven't been in all of them, 90% of all NYC firehouse have some form of an exercise area in the House. It is up to you on your own however to go down there and exercise.

        Doc DC3


        • #5
          Firefighter fitness needs to be near the top of any list of concerns.Many more firefighters die due to cardiovascular causes than expire due to direct injury.This is even more true of the volunteer side of the service.We ask people to go from 0 to120(in a manner of speaking)with no consideration of what their physical capabilities are.And some of us just don't want to admit that we aren't 18 any more.(My missus frequently uses that line)
          We recently entered into a cooperative agreement with our local school district. They have a weight room ,with all the toys, that goes unused after school hours,with the exception of the football/lacrosse teams.Two of our firefighters are already certified to instruct in the use of the equipment (they are the football coaches) and we will soon certify a couple more. This will enable the fire dept to set up a fitness program and have the facility open in the evening and on weekends for use by our personnel.The school was more than willing to work with us.It's a good example of inter-agency cooperation. and it's also an alternative for those depts. like our own who can't afford expensive apparatus and don't have a place to put it. I'll let you know how it works out. STAY SAFE!!!


          • #6
            Physical fitness is vital to effective operation as a firefighter. If an organization can create and encourage an ongoing "culture" of physical fitness among the staff those members will not only be healthier physically, but will also be more mentally prepared for the rigors of the job and the frustrations that inevitably go with the politics and personalities of the Fire Service (or any other service) today. Knowing how to carry out emergency actions is no good if a firefighter does not have the strength and aerobic fitness to be able to do their job as long as their job needs doing. Whether it is paying for gym memberships, providing space or equipment for exercise and making the time to use it available, or even just letting people know that the time they spend keeping themselves in shape is appreciated, there is no better investment that a Fire Department could make. Military personnel doing PT are not considered to be goofing off. No professional sports coach would leave their teams fitness training as something to be done when they are not at work. Because many people enjoy working out and see it as a way of relaxing it should not blind us to how important it is to our ability to do the job. Good managers not only find ways to achieve what is necessary, but also find ways to make staff want to achieve them. Sadly short sightedness, bloody mindnedness and apathy mean that those in our Department who keep themselves up to scratch are doing it largely on their own. I congratulate those organizations out there who do better.
            On a lighter note, this American spell checker cracks me up! You guys sure use a bunch of Z's in your wordz!

            Jim Maclean
            Auckland NZ


            • #7
              These comments pertain to my department. I sincerely hope that yours is much better off.

              Our department states that each firefighter will have one hour per shift for some sort of physical fitness activity. Ther are a good number of "loads" in our department. Since we have no agility test, we can't weed them out. We have three that aree grossly overweight. (one was just hired last year!)

              PT is left up to the individual. We have very little equipment, and I don't feel that the firefighters should pay for equipment out of their own pockets. I strongly feel it's the city's responsibility.

              We have no wellness program. Most of us don't know how to take care of ourselves, we eat fast food, lounge around, (and whine a lot). As far as nutrition is concerned... most guys will have a diet coke with their 2 big macs and fries.

              I, along with another guy on my shift, go to a local gym regularly. We can't go during shift hours (24/48), but we can walk if we want to. The catch with that is, everyone, including your supervisor has to want to go.
              If not, your stuck. (Hear those arteries clogging?)

              Eng. Co. 9

              "In all of us there are heroes... speak to them and they will come forth."

              "In order for us to achieve all that is demanded of us, we must regard ourselves as greater than we are."


              • #8
                Thanks for the input.
                And good catch up in Brooklyn, sometimes more than time is backwards in Missouri.


                • #9
                  We are not forced to work out nor expected to. We have a gym in the station and two more that we can use for free any time. A pretty sweet deal. Good beny.. Only about 5 out of the 50 on the department use the equipment.


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