The Grind: Firefighter Fitness

As firefighters, line officers, and command staff, when you think about physical fitness are the first pictures that come to mind fighting structure fires, high-level rescues, vehicle extrications, and other common high-demand, life-saving responses...


Summary

A high level of fitness and readiness is not just required for the high-demand responses of a shift, but for the shift itself. For a moment, imagine the same rescue company from above has just finished its three-hour vehicle extrication training in a high-heat environment and now is required for a high-demand, life-saving response.

A special thanks to B.J. Jungmann, Assistant Fire Chief/EMS, Maplewood, MN, Fire Department, Maplewood, for reviewing the article for correct fire service terminology.

References:

1The Exercise and Physical Fitness Page

2National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, Working in Hot Environments

3International Association of Firefighters, Fitness on the Front Line: Staying Prepared

SCOTT TOMEK MA, EMT-P has been a paramedic for 25 years with 23 of those at Lakeview Hospital EMS in Stillwater, MN. He is a faculty member with the Century College Paramedic Program and wrote the curriculum for and served as the interim director of their public safety degree program. He is a frequent contributor to EMS Magazine, a frequent presenter at EMS conferences in the Midwest and an educational consultant to fire and EMS services. He can be reached at scott.tomek@century.eduNICOLE OLSON is an undergraduate student at Mankato State University where she is majoring in health science with a minor in psychology. Her areas of interest are childhood obesity, nutrition, and endurance sports. She is an accomplished sub-four hour marathoner. She can be reached at nicole.olson@mnsu.edu.