Thread: Fitness Testing
04-03-2001, 09:59 AM #1Dave KlossFirehouse.com Guest
I'm looking for information from other departments about setting standards for fitness evaluations and how you help an individual if he/she doesn't pass an evaluation. Has your program been validated by an outside agency? Are individuals placed on light duty if they don't pass? Any info would be great. Thank you.
04-13-2001, 01:36 PM #2ffjerry47Firehouse.com Guest
With our department, we have two yearly fitness evaluations. The first, is a standard medical physical, which includes a thorough evaluation of blood gases, etc. The other evaluation is a fitness professional runs us through several different tests (i.e. 5 min. fitness bike, grip strength, lower body strength, upper body strength, etc.).
I am grateful that these evaluations are offered at no cost to our members (we're a combo dept.), but unfortunately they are not mandatory. Nor are there any minimum standards in place that require our members to maintain.
I would like to see more of an effort by our firefighters to maintain a high level of physical fitness. Good luck, I hope I've offered some help.
04-20-2001, 12:06 PM #3fdmedicFirehouse.com Guest
Our dept is also looking to a wellness program. The problem seems to be two fold. One, how do you motivate men into participating, through testing that is reflected in annual reviews, ie raises, or pass/fail to keep your job, or just evaluation that lets guys know where they are at, and hope pride motivates them. Also what type of testing, exercises like bench press, setups, 1 1/2 mile run, or a physical agility tests? Lastly, does your programs have paid physicals, nutrition programs, required exercises, or leave it up to the individuals to develop their own programs to meet the standards of the test? If they don't meet the standards, then what? Also, do you test every 6 months or just yearly?
04-22-2001, 02:13 PM #4E. VonSeggernFirehouse.com Guest
Here is the fitness plan for Casper Wyoming.
We are a paid department with 22 firefighters on duty per shift. There are no other departments in the area. The next City of any size is 50 miles away and it is only 5,000 population. We have two Senior homes that are 5 stories and 6 stories tall and a large hospital that covers most of central Wyoming for patient care. It has 6 floors. Our tallest building is 8 floors. We realized that if we were going to be able to do successful fire attack and rescue we would have to cowboy up, because there would be no help to relieve us. It is not unusual for us to go through 4 bottles of air before rehab.
So about 20 years ago we started to do annual fitness assessments. It has evolved to this. Annual physicals for all firefighters over 40 and biannual for those under 40. A fitness assessment based off of ARA Human Factors the same company that created the Combat Task Test. This is done 6 months prior to doing the Combat Task Test and identifies any problems. It is not a pass or fail. Then once a year all members from the Chief to the newest person on the job must pass the Combat Task Test.
If a person fails the test the are put with a fitness trainer until they are able to pass they are given about 6 months. If they can't pass they will be let go from the department. This has been worked out with management and the union and is spelled out in our contract.
Write if you want all the details
Capt. E. VonSeggern
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