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    Default Firefighter fitness

    A short but interesting article regarding a department that is having their firefighters workout every shift. I think this is a great idea. Good luck to these guys and gals and I hope this works out well for them. http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10925960

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    Default getting in shape....

    I learned in Kindergarten that ROUND is a shape.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Here, it is required to workout at least 1 hour every shift..nothing new.
    "You can only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough"

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    Our 3 full-time line personnel have to workout 45 minutes a shift. The part-time volunteer working the day shift is expected, but not required, to workout as well.

    Myself and the Deputy Chief are classified as administrative personnel are are exempted, however, I'll usually do 30 minutes of cardio and a little lifting every other day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Our 3 full-time line personnel have to workout 45 minutes a shift. The part-time volunteer working the day shift is expected, but not required, to workout as well.
    Double standard.. why am I not surprised?

    Myself and the Deputy Chief are classified as administrative personnel are are exempted, however, I'll usually do 30 minutes of cardio and a little lifting every other day.
    Those file folders must be heavy....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Double standard.. why am I not surprised?

    In a way, yes, however this workout time is expected to be performed on the evening that the full-time firefighter comes in (our shifts start at 1630) or in the morning before 8AM when they generally have no assigned tasks to perform.
    There is no part-time staff there at these times.

    The workout time is not to be done during the workday as both the full-time firefighter and part-time day firefighter have a full plate of maintainece, administrative, training and/or testing tasks to accomplish.

    Those file folders must be heavy....

    I agree that we should be required as well as both of us are expected to perform not only fireground command and support functions, but at times depending on the event and volunteer manpower, we may have to be involved in operations. However, this was based on civil service, and apprently the rules are different regarding personnel classified as administrative regarding this area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Double standard.. why am I not surprised?

    In a way, yes, however this workout time is expected to be performed on the evening that the full-time firefighter comes in (our shifts start at 1630) or in the morning before 8AM when they generally have no assigned tasks to perform.
    There is no part-time staff there at these times.

    The workout time is not to be done during the workday as both the full-time firefighter and part-time day firefighter have a full plate of maintainece, administrative, training and/or testing tasks to accomplish.

    Those file folders must be heavy....

    I agree that we should be required as well as both of us are expected to perform not only fireground command and support functions, but at times depending on the event and volunteer manpower, we may have to be involved in operations. However, this was based on civil service, and apprently the rules are different regarding personnel classified as administrative regarding this area.

    I thought the full-time paid firefighters in your dept. only do maintinance work?

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    I thought the full-time paid firefighters in your dept. only do maintinance work?

    I'll treat this as a legitimate question.

    They are primarily responsible for tool, equipment and vehicle maintainence as well as accomplishing assigned rated-related testing and conducting small-group training. That is their primarily role.

    They will respond on runs if there are significant as in structure and vehicle fires and MVAs, or in the case of our 2 shift firefighter-paramedics, significant EMS calls if the parish unit is running a single-paramedic unit that day.

    We are lucky in that during the day, we will have 4-6 volunteers available either riding out or stopping by at our Central Station and generally another 3-4 available in the district. We can have up to 6 volunteer paramedics either at the station or in the district at any time plus the 1-2 on duty.

    They will only respond on minor incidents such as trash fires, small brush fires and typical EMS calls if we do not have volunteer personnel around the station to handle that run.

    If we know that we have sufficient volunteers in the district available to supplement the volunteers responding from Central Station, the full-time personnel may stay in quarters and complete their assigned tasks.

    Full-time deputy Chief and myself will generally only respond on significant incidents.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-16-2009 at 09:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    [Full-time deputy Chief and myself will generally only respond on significant incidents.
    A dumpster or bigger.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    A dumpster or bigger.
    I was thinking something like a tan bark fire.

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    Seems to me the workout should be on a non-duty day. The time to prepare your body for the game isn't on game day.

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    I typically do my workouts on off days--I'm glad there's no exercise Nazi dictating the days I work out.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    if you work somewhere with a low call volume, working out can help pass the time. if you work at a station that runs, you're going to get tired of constant mid-workout interruptions. a gym membership isn't that expensive, and will definitely benefit you over the course of your career.

    physical fitness requirements are great, but mandating on-shift workouts is a bad idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Seems to me the workout should be on a non-duty day. The time to prepare your body for the game isn't on game day.
    Well then.. consider it warming up for "the big game".
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Well then.. consider it warming up for "the big game".
    A warm up last about 10 minutes and gets things loosened up, after a couple of hours the effects of the warm up are gone.

    Physical conditioning takes about 2 hours, it takes about 24 hours to recover from a good workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Physical conditioning takes about 2 hours, it takes about 24 hours to recover from a good workout.

    Why do you continue to talk about things that you know nothing about?

    I personally don't have an issue with working out while on-duty. There are plenty of departments that do it, thru either a requirement, or by allowing time during the work day for work outs.
    Physical fitness is an essential component to this job, and allowing guys to exercise on duty is really no different than conducting any other type of training.

    We regularly participate in drills that have us raising ladders, stretching hose, forcing doors, etc... all of which have the potential to leave us "tired", and often does.
    The fact is that the better physical condition an individual is in, the faster they recover from strenuous activity, the less likely they are to suffer an injury in the first place, which in turn makes them a better tool on the fire ground.


    You are right though, the work has to continue on off-duty time, as well. Working out only every third day will not be of that much benefit. But having time during the day for workouts is as essential as providing time for working with a set of irons, or for raising ladders and stretching hose. Those are all components of this job that are all intertwined.

    In case you missed it, which is entirely possible, firefighting is an extremely strenuous activity. Because of the nature of it, our heart rates are put in ranges of over 100% of our maximum rate with little to no warning, and certainly with no warm up. We're required to perform physically demanding tasks under the most extreme of conditions, and to do so from periods of rest to high activity in a matter of just several minutes; those are indisputable facts.

    Should there be requirements in working out for part of a shift? I don't know, I really don't. However, should there be a requirement to train while on-duty, i.e. raising ladders, stretching hose, forcing doors? I think most would say absolutely, so what is the difference, really?
    Last edited by jasper45; 08-23-2009 at 10:23 AM.

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    training evolutions are focused on the mechanics and procedure of doing things, such as raising ladders and stretching hose. There is a physical fitness aspect to it, but its just a side effect so to say.

    Exercises such as weight lifting and aerobic workouts are focused on building muscle and strengthening the cardiovascular system. With weight training there is a 24-48 hour recovery after a hard workout, I've caught fires during/right after weightlifting, not fun.

    Exercising on duty is good, but it should be light exercises. You shouldn't be lifting weights till failure or running yourself ragged doing stairs. You should be working up a little bit of a sweat though. But there is a difference between training on how to do tasks and weight or aerobic training.

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    Here, virtually every station has a weight/fitness room. also all members are given a very reduced rate for them and their families to the YMCAs. A lot of guys do work out, mainly cardio-vascular during shifts, usually the second engine team and the aerial team. The dept is very pro active in physical fitness, full medicals yearly, extra curricular activities such as community sports, distance running, Marathons and triathalons. I know of at least 2 pretty decent marathoners, 1 triathelte on the dept.

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