I recently read an article in a popular firefighter magazine. It was a Call To Fitness from one of the leading authorities / lecturers in the Fire Service. The article made a great case for why first responders around the country should take care of number one, preparing themselves for, as well as protecting themselves from, the job. Eloquently written, made me want to get up and workout.
But here's where the Fire Service drops the ball. They say to the veteran firefighter (or any working firefighter beyond the academy level), your job requires that you be in top shape, but we'll give you no direction or assistance whatsoever. Maybe that's not entirely true. The FDNY has one official gym for it's 10,000 members, and the Fitness Unit that consists of a handful of members.
That's approximately 2,000 firefighters for each trainer. Somehow the message, you must be fit, is coming through loud and clear, but how that should happen is left to the individual's own resourcefulness. And in this country, before you can get to any useful information on functional fitness, you have to wade through a sea of misinformation. Firefighters go down the typical path most Americans follow. They hit the weights... with no real clue on how to achieve any level of functionality, cardiovascular health, or work capacity.
It's time Fire Departments around the country take some responsibility for their membership's level of fitness and performance, and not just blame the lazy firefighter. It's time every department around the country (both paid and volunteer) provide some real structure, incentive, useful information, and tools to get this job done. For the job they do, our First Responders deserve to be treated like world class athletes.
Give the brothers and sisters of the fire service what they deserve. My First Responder Kettlebell Program, featuring high rep timed sets, is easy to implement and doesn't require a huge initial investment. After a brief learning curve, the first responder recreates the level of exertion they'll experience on the fireground, but in gradual pushes through a completely safe range of motion. Functional strength, endless endurance, weight loss, cardiovascular health, are all features of this type of training.
I implore you to not take it any more. Paid or volunteer, urban or rural, chief or probie, tell your boss it's about time!
>> First Responder Fitness
5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
- Petition the department, collecting signatures from members and family
- Speak to your union leaders and fellow union members
- Talk it up at the firehouse with fellow firefighters
- Contact your local news media and advise them of the situation
- Send a letter to your local commissioners, politicians, documenting the facts
Fire Department Fitness Letter:CLICK HERE