1. #1
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    Default PT in Volunteer fire service?

    I am a Volunteer firefighter i love what i do and i realized that many companies around me including my own does not have a PT (physical training) program. I am former military planning on going back so maybe its just me but i believe that all departments should have some sort of organized PT program.

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    I'm not sure a weight bench would support the weight of some of the VFF's I've seen...

    When we built our new social hall I was a huge advocate of including a workout room for use by all, but it got cut. I think it would have been a big morale booster, too, as many of our younger members were, at the time, spending a fair amount of time at the gym, lifting.
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    Interesting subject with some serious pros .. and some significant cons.

    Time.

    Cost, of both the equipment and the physicals that likely would be required to be paid for by the department since the department is mandating the physical activity.

    Loss of manpower, as result of the mandate and result of the physicals.

    Monitering.

    Lots of issues that are far more complex in a volunteer department as compared to a career department.

    I have seen a few VFDs require it, but it came with costs, both in terms of money and lost staffing.

    We have a workout room with a weight machine, free weights, treadmills, bikes and elipticals. It gets used to a limited extent primarily by the younger members. We have no workout requirements for sither our fulltime staff or volunteer staff.

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    maybe not a work out room...i was suggesting more of a organized PT take a sunday morning or what ever and have the guys and girls who show run together, push ups, ect i believe it will not only be good physically but also boost more of a bond between firefighters

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    Go for it. Let us know how it works out. Can't hurt to try.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I think there is a huge difference between a department mandating PT and simply creating an environment and incentive for its members to be in shape. Mandating PT, and creating some sort of organized program for enforcement would be difficult and may have the unintended result of driving members away (not just the ones that aren't in shape, either).

    Instead I think you'd have more success if the Department provides an environment for the members to use and also creates incentives for its use. Simply having a gym will do a lot.. members that are paying for a gym can save that money (and be at the station for potential calls). For some members you're going to need a bigger carrot. For example, every member that logs XXXX-hours in the gym a month gets a gift certificate for movie tickets. If you already receive a stipend for participation you can add rules that apply for gym use.

    Either way, I think you'll get better results if you remove the mandate and go with the carrot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Firefighter715 View Post
    maybe not a work out room...i was suggesting more of a organized PT take a sunday morning or what ever and have the guys and girls who show run together, push ups, ect i believe it will not only be good physically but also boost more of a bond between firefighters
    I think that's a great idea.. similar to my previous post I think it'd be best if not mandatory. you're better off using peer pressure. If the "Cool" members are doing it, and saying it is fun then other members will join in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    I'm not sure a weight bench would support the weight of some of the VFF's I've seen...
    The 300 club is still alive and well. Maybe not well....

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    I believe it is hard to make it mandatory, but a good idea. This is a very physically demanding job whether paid or volunteer. Having a gym available is a good way for members that do work out to save money and have people available for calls like stated. Maybe if you do weekly trainings have a little PT before the training starts. We don't have much for workout equipment but we do a workout using the stuff we do have. Hammering a tire, pulling out of service hose, high rise packs, ladders, hoisting hose, lunges or whatever else you can come up with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by River Firefighter715 View Post
    maybe not a work out room...i was suggesting more of a organized PT take a sunday morning or what ever and have the guys and girls who show run together, push ups, ect i believe it will not only be good physically but also boost more of a bond between firefighters
    I think its a great idea!
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Interesting subject with some serious pros .. and some significant cons.

    Time.

    Cost, of both the equipment and the physicals that likely would be required to be paid for by the department since the department is mandating the physical activity.

    Loss of manpower, as result of the mandate and result of the physicals.

    Monitering.

    Lots of issues that are far more complex in a volunteer department as compared to a career department.

    I have seen a few VFDs require it, but it came with costs, both in terms of money and lost staffing.

    We have a workout room with a weight machine, free weights, treadmills, bikes and elipticals. It gets used to a limited extent primarily by the younger members. We have no workout requirements for sither our fulltime staff or volunteer staff.
    You left out the "pro". Not dying from a heart attack.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    I think there is a huge difference between a department mandating PT and simply creating an environment and incentive for its members to be in shape. Mandating PT, and creating some sort of organized program for enforcement would be difficult and may have the unintended result of driving members away (not just the ones that aren't in shape, either).

    Instead I think you'd have more success if the Department provides an environment for the members to use and also creates incentives for its use. Simply having a gym will do a lot.. members that are paying for a gym can save that money (and be at the station for potential calls). For some members you're going to need a bigger carrot. For example, every member that logs XXXX-hours in the gym a month gets a gift certificate for movie tickets. If you already receive a stipend for participation you can add rules that apply for gym use.

    Either way, I think you'll get better results if you remove the mandate and go with the carrot.

    Think this is a better way. Hardley can make a volunteer turn out for most calls anymore, sure arn't going to get a big turn out for a PT session. Just making it avalible to them is a great idea. If you cannot get a workout room inside the station, see if the town/city/borough will open the Police or High School Gym to your guys. When I volunteered we had access to the police gym about a block away from the station.

    Or get P90X or Insanity DVD's and do it in the bay together. Peer pressure is a great thing sometimes, once a few guys start it will suck more people in.
    ~Drew
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    You left out the "pro". Not dying from a heart attack.
    Actually a lot of pro's beyond not having a heart attack.

    Better Overall fitness and health.
    Better fireground performance - Strength and endurance.
    Reduction in injuries.
    Better teamwork (if team sports are used).
    Support/Motivation

    Such a program can be quite productive in many ways, but not if it's mandated.

    Try some team sports as well with some cardio benefits.

    However, I would think about some type of an injury waiver, as this si not a fireground or training activity, the issue of an injury could get somewhat sticky.

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    Our town it home to a major university w/ an extensive fitness center to which the dept has access, so our members can take advantage of that even if they're not students. On top of that a bunch of us will schedule a night each week to meet there and have a basketball game. No one has to attend, but many do and keep returning each week simplly b/c we all have a good time together. Even if you don't have a gym nearby you can schedule a pickup game at a park.

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    Join a gym or the YMCA
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    To date 2010:
    78 LODD
    18 at structure fires conducting firefighting operations
    46 or 58% Stress/overexertion

    2009
    90 LODD
    30 during fireground operations.
    7 deaths lost, caught/trapped, or collapse.
    50 or 55% stress/overexertion

    Yes we are being much too dangerous, exceeding our training, and being reckless.

    Besides we all know, a one time funeral is much cheaper than a yearly physical right?
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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