Good morning from the Jumpseat. Have you ever chosen a challenge that you once thought would be impossible?
Recently I have taken the challenge of fitness to a new level. I have forced myself to become a runner, albeit a slow one, and have chosen a personal goal of completing a sprint distance triathlon. So with my music in my ears and my best shoes on my feet off I went to train toward my goal!
Then it hit me, is a triathlon really an accomplishable goal? You bet it is because I have taken part in many triathlons before. It might not have been running, biking, and swimming, but I have ran a 3 event fire many times before.
A three event fire is a common theme for today’s understaffed and volunteer fire service professionals. Just think back to your last structure fire, did you complete three tasks and complete them without any breaks?
The first event the dispatch, this is the sprint part of our triathlon. The dispatch goes out and you make your way to truck, engine, or rescue and off to the fire you go. Upon arrival at the fire event you are catching the hydrant, getting dressed, and stretching the first line. The second event, advancing the line to the seat of the fire, is more of an endurance event. This can take some time to crawl into where the fire is located, sometimes up or downstairs.
Once you have found the seat of the fire and extinguished it the second event is complete, then off to the final event. The final event is overhaul portion of the triathlon. Once the fire is put out the real work begins. This can be the most difficult event in our series.
It’s the most difficult because it is the last event and you haven’t had sufficient time to recover from the first two events. Overhaul can push your work ethic and muscles to the limit. With today’s houses having more stuff to move or protect the demand on you will take you to your limit.
So, off to the pool I go to prepare for my goal knowing that the triathlon is well within my reach because I am a firefighter. A firefighter that has been part in many triathlons before may never have participated in the one involving biking, running, and swimming.
The fire service triathlon of putting out fires with limited staffing can be a true test of cardiovascular endurance, and overall fitness. Just like a triathlon I don’t want to go to my next fire unprepared. Maybe it’s time to choose a fitness goal, get your gear, and prepare yourself because unlike some events you never know when you will be in the starting blocks for your next Fire Service Triathlon! Stay safe everyone and thanks for spending some time in the JUMPSEAT!