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Does the fire service care about fitness

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  • Does the fire service care about fitness

    Does the fire service truly believe physical fitness is important or is alot of it lip service? Are we doing enough to ensure that we are staying fit for the job?

    What are we doing that is good?

    What could we be doing better?

    I am curious what you think about this or ideas you may have on the topic...

  • #2
    I tell you after I finish this jelly donut.
    Stay Safe

    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
    - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

    Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.


    • #3

      The interesting thing about this question is priorities: departments say they care, they have the data about the correlation between health and injuries/ cardiac/cancers etc. yet the amount of effort and budget dedicated to H&W is overall pretty poor. Yet when it comes to maintaining our apparatus the budget ( for the most part) is there. In my department, if my engine has something go wrong we take it in to the shop right away and get it fixed. For H&W we do ok, we finally got annual physicals covered by our insurance, fitness isn't mandatory but we have equipement in every station. Many departments have little to no program but by golly the rigs will get there.


      • #4
        I think it is a growing trend in the fire service. However i think that trend is in the "baby" phase.

        My department is doing annual physicals beyond the osha required stuff. I was actually impressed with the amount of test they did. We have exercise equipment in every station. We have also trained several members in the IAFF peer fitness program. For the most part most of gung ho guys motivate themselves to stay in shape.

        On the flip side we have not IMO utilized the peer fitness people to the potiental. We do not require annual physical fitness test. Although the rumors are starting up that is why we started the intensive medical physicals.

        If I ever take over the world. One of the things i would like to see added is the budget and resources to have on staff a trainer/nutrionalist. To aid members and shifts in meal planning and fitness routines. If we are going to claim that people are our best resources. Lets show we are willing to put the money towards it.

        Personally I feel that we in the fire service are industrial athletes. Just like professional football players we must invest the time and effort into keeping the body in top performance. Just like that pro baseball player I must keep my body in shape to perform. I must also keep it in shape to with stand the abuse I am going to put it through for the next 30 years. This is not only important to my physical well being but my mental and financial status as well. If my body gives out on my in 20 years do you really think the department is going to keep me on the pay role. No they are going to put my a## to pasture and "draft" a new recruit in his prime and pay him less.


        • #5
          Good answers

          It is a matter of personal responsibility. Many of us have jobs that require that we stay fit and strong. Since there's no worker's comp for us self employed folks, well, getting injured it not an option unless we want to change careers.
          Why should it be any different for anyone else?

          I do think that the team momentum of a company or a fire house can carry it's people a long way. The equipment shoudl be provided, on site and be in good repair, especially at the firehouse closest to my house!

          I think on or off shift, 60-90 minutes a day for health is not to much to ask...
          Dr. Jen


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