Our department does not have a physical fitness program nor a Candidate Physical Ability Test for new hires. It is not mandatory for the firefighters to use the physical fitness room and equipment in it at all. Some use it just to sit in and watch TV. Out of about 22 persons on my shift (15-18 on duty at a time) only three to five personnel use it for working out (I am one of them).

At roll call about half of the firefighters I work with have guts that stick out father than their chest. Some, given the chance, would sleep all day. (on we timed at 19 hours in the rack!!)

Of the Departments out there with physical fitness programs, have they worked for them? I am not an advocate for forcing anyone to be like MR Olympia, but I do think that there should be some minumum standards for firefighters to meet pertaining to physical conditioning. Our job can be highly demanding on the body, both physically and mentally. It is proven that physical fitness helps us perform better and aids us in coping with the stress of the job. I would like to think that the next big incident we have (and we have very few fires or incidents) all of my fellow firefighters will go home.

It has been rumored over the years that the Department of Defense will be implementing a mandatory physical fitness program and testing? Has any other DoD firefighter heard any news on this? Are there any Federal Dept.s with physical fitness OIs or SOPs?