1. #1

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    Question Any tips on breathing?

    I am a new volunteer to the Berea Volunteer FD. I have been doing my training and getting my hours in, but I just went today to get my physical and could not pass the breathing test where you have to breath real hard through that tube and keep breathing for what seems like a minute or two. I would run out of air in about half the time. I don't know if I was just breathing to hard to begin with or if it is just me. Is this something I should be worried about? I am going to start a cardio program and try to work on it, but are they going to keep me off the FD until I pass it? I'm not a big person at all 5'9" and about 120 soaked. Do I just not have the lung capicity for this test? Any help on good cardio workouts, or just info on if this is going to stop me from going foward?


    Thanks!,
    Julius Stanley 313

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    Default hey

    Try doing what we call house duty on air "Cleaning the fire house" this way it gives you time to concentrate on your breathing and how much air your consuming and you doing something physical all at the same time & remember In through your nose out through you mouth you could also try something called skip breathing I'm sure your brothers/sister's know what that is this is how i over came my breathing problem. I hope you get over it and stay safe Brother.
    Fire Fighter Brandon Shuler Badge #141
    Spruce Pine Volunteer Fire & Rescue
    Spruce Pine NC

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    The test you speak of checks your lung capacity. Doing cardio will help, but it will take some time. Do you have any breathing difficulties such as asthma or have you ever had pneumonia? These may affect your test. Keep your head up and keep trying.

    You will have to talk to this department to see what their policy is on this. They may give you some time and then let you retake the physical. Good luck.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  4. #4
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    Diapharam control.

    Don't HUFF into the mouthpiece.

    For practice learn to play an instrament (like saxaphone!) or take a small piece of paper, wad it up into a little ball (straw wrappers work well for beginners). Put it on a table infront of you. Now slowly blow it across the table. Slowly make the paper heavier (use a bigger piece, etc) and make it move farther.

    Think of blowing up a beach ball... (or better yet go get one and try.) The loud fast breaths don't really fill it and make you feel sick quickly, slow and steady wins the race!
    -------------------

    Failure is not an option!

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    You took what is commonly called a "Pulmonary Function Test" (PFT.) I used to give these tests when I worked in the Industrial Safety/Health field. Here is a brief description:

    Spirometry measures how much air you breathe in and out and how fast you blow it out. This is measured in two ways: peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). PEFR refers to the amount of air you can blow air out as quickly as possible. FEV1 refers to the amount of air you can blow out in 1 second.

    During the test, a technician will ask you to take a deep breath in and then blow as hard as you can into a tube connected to a small machine. Your doctor may have you inhale a medicine that helps open your airways. He or she will want to see whether the medicine changes or improves the test results.

    Spirometry is done to look for diseases and conditions that affect how much air you can breathe in, such as sarcoidosis or lung tissue scarring. It's also done to look for diseases that affect how fast you can breathe air out, like asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).


    How old are you, and do you currently or have you ever smoked? I am not going to preach the smoking thing to you if you do, but failing or doing poorly at PFT's is a common side effect of smoking; however it is possible to pass them if you are a smoker. I am NOT a physician, but it sounds like you need to increase your lung capacity in order to pass the test. Sometimes I would have test takers who failed go and take a 1/4 mile walk (at a fast pace) with their arms over their heads- this allows your lungs to stretch out, thus increasing capacity. Also, asthma or any other pulmonary disease will have an adverse effect on the test.

    Just food for thought.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  6. #6

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    I just got accepted to a Volunteer Dept. and recently had my physical where I had to do this exact breathing test. It is difficult because the tube you blow through is pretty large in circumference so there is absolutely no resistance. I'm not sure if your test was similar but I had to blow for six seconds which seems like a very long time.

    The RN administering the test did a good job coaching me through the procedure by saying "deep breath, deep breath, etc... then GO!" and she would count to six for me so I wouldn't stop too soon. I had to laugh after I did it a few times because I was making it look like a full body test bending over to keep the air coming out haha.

    But you really need to breath as hard as you can right off the bat to get the first initial spike on the line graph and then just try to keep the air coming the best you can. I am wondering how many times they allowed you to try it? My first attempt was not good because I think I tried to control/manipulate my breathing too much. You really just have to go all out the whole time.

    Best of luck to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLFD138 View Post
    Try doing what we call house duty on air "Cleaning the fire house" this way it gives you time to concentrate on your breathing and how much air your consuming and you doing something physical all at the same time & remember In through your nose out through you mouth you could also try something called skip breathing I'm sure your brothers/sister's know what that is this is how i over came my breathing problem. I hope you get over it and stay safe Brother.
    Way to read the post big guy. He is not talking about SCBA.

  8. #8
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    To help strengthen your lungs use the Power Lung. It works well. Here is the web site. http://shop.navyseals.com/powerlung-sport-191.html

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