1. #1
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    Thumbs down Clifton, NJ firefighters upset at order to remove gym equipment

    Is physical conditioning important?

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Clifton firefighters, having just won
    24-hour shifts, are angry that they have been ordered to remove
    fitness equipment from the city's six firehouses.
    "To me, it's pointing more toward harassment than anything
    else," Nicholas Marchisello, president of the city's Firemen's
    Mutual Benevolent Association, told The Star-Ledger of Newark for
    Thursday's editions.
    City officials, however, deny that the order by Chief John
    Dubravsky was in retaliation for the successful work-shift
    campaign.
    "No way, no way, absolutely not," Councilman Edward Welsh
    said. "We're all adults here. To say that there was anything
    vindictive is absurd."
    Welsh said the ban stemmed from concerns raised by residents
    last year after a local weekly newspaper published photographs that
    showed firefighters working out on fitness equipment and barbecuing
    on firehouse roof. The grilling was stopped.
    Exercise is important to firefighters, Kevin Danielson, vice
    president of their union, told the Herald News of West Paterson.
    "It's part of our job to be strong and lift heavy weights, but
    they'd rather do away with it than put a program together," he
    said.
    Dubravsky said that with firefighters working 24-hour shifts,
    city officials believed they would have little free time for
    exercise, noting the firefighters are also responsible for
    inspections, training and maintenance of buildings and equipment.
    In his directive ordering the removal, however, Dubravsky said:
    "The City Council, through the city manager, has expressed a
    concern about firefighters becoming injured while using this
    equipment, along with the potential for liability against the city
    for such injuries."
    Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi said that a firefighter who was
    injured while exercising could miss time from work and be entitled
    to workers' compensation.
    Such concerns are not the rule in the state.
    Thomas Canzanella, president of the Professional Firefighters
    Association of New Jersey, said at least 70 percent of the paid
    fire departments in the state have some fitness equipment in their
    firehouses.
    "There's every encouragement to use this equipment because
    fitness is intrinsic to what we do," Canzanella told the
    newspaper, adding strength and aerobic conditioning help
    firefighters in the performance of their jobs.
    A court fight last year, settled by arbitration, allowed the
    139-person Clifton fire department to switch to shifts of 24 hours
    on duty, then 72 hours off duty. Before that, firefighters worked
    two 10-hour day shifts and two 14-hour overnight shifts over a span
    of eight days.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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    Thumbs down

    That is the most asanine thing I have ever heard. Taking away physical training equipment from a paid fire station? What are they thinking? I guess they want a bunch of fat, lazy firemen sitting around all day watching TV. If they wanted that they would have a volunteer station (I'm allowed to say that, I'm a volunteer). Seriously though, physical fitness is integral to what we do on a daily basis. You need to be physically able to do our job. This isn't a cushy office job, this is firefighting. Especially with these guys now working 24 hour shifts, they need to be able to work out. Think about some of the guys in the department, maybe some of them work out on a regular basis outside the job. Working 24 hour shifts without the ability to lift may hinder their workout schedule. Well, I'm done ranting and raving, this is only my opinion, I could be wrong.

    Stay safe brothers, and work out! (if you can)

    Matt

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    Angry

    [size=huge]Mutt mentality[/size] at it's finest!
    ‎"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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    Another fine example of politicians at work! What cost more the FF working out now or being off longer due to injuries from lack of exercise.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

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    "We're all adults here. To say that there was anything vindictive is absurd."
    Yeah, right. Whatever you say sir.

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    I'm thankful that I don't live in Clifton, NJ. My department used FIRE grant money to purchase nearly $30k worth of fitness equipment for our use *on duty*. Besides that, we just built a deck off of our second-story living quarters with a big ol' grill out there. No grilling on duty? God help our Jersey brothers.

    Seriously, this sounds like a city council with typical rectal-cranium inversion. They're worried about firefighters getting hurt working out... But don't seem much concerned about firefighters getting hurt because they *didn't* work out. Fitness is important.

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    Every job requires tools of some sort. In Firefighting, your body is your number one tool, and taking care of it, on-or-off duty should be a high priority. Thats like saying a mechanic can't clean or oil his tools... without them, he can't do his job. Sometimes, the stupidity that goes on just astounds me...

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    Thumbs down Just when you think they can't do anything dumber!

    Clifton N.J. huh! Why move forward when you can put it in reverse instead. Have these people been off the planet on an extended vacation or what? The whole rest of the fire service world is moving forward addressing physical fittness, general health, heart disease, and LODD deaths and these 'PEOPLE' go the other way. Hey, Newark city council wake the 'HECK' up, you are putting your fire fighters, and your populace into greater danger. How do you expect a firefighter wearing 80-100 lbs. of gear to climb flights of stairs, break through doorways, pull hose, and be able to rescue someone, if they aren't in good shape. Everyone else can add the other thousands of senerio's, where fitness is a absolute necessity for the job. Or maybe there's a reason (outside of stupity), maybe our brother's got such a good deal that they need the money, maybe the hundreds of depts. that would crawl over broken glass to have some fitness equipment, can buy some cheap. BAD MOVE NEWARK!!!

    Good luck to our Clifton brothers, hope it comes out all right.


    I always close with;
    Be safe out there, wish this wasn't addressing something so contrary to that idea!
    This has been edited, thanks for catching it, CaptGonzo!
    Last edited by CharlieRFDPres; 08-01-2003 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default ummm...Charlie?

    It's the Clifton FD having problems with mutts, not Newark!
    ‎"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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    It is unbelievable that in a time when physical health and fitness are being emphasized that decisions such as this are being made. Strength and endurance are an essential part of our job. Exercise is not only important for strength, it is also a key method of expelling the stress that is associated with our profession.

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    A Fire Capt. died from a heart attack on duty at the firehouse (may he rest in peace) at a neighbooring dept. last year. He was given a funeral with full honors...etc, that he deserved.

    Our neighboors to the north had the city council ban them from any on-duty exercise to prevent the same from co$ting their city if you get the drift.

    Nauseating........

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    What a load of crap.
    "The City Council, through the city manager, has expressed a concern..."
    If this city is like most cities I know of, I'm willing to bet there's a hell of a lot more about the fire department they SHOULD be concerned about, rather than **** on someone's effort to better themselves as a firefighter.
    What a joke.

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    It's such a shame that it takes a catastrophe to wake people up... but then they just seem to forget so quickly, and go back to their old ways. You have to be very well educated to get city council and political jobs, but apparently, common sense is not welcome.

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    Angry 1st there was dumb and dumber, then...

    The actors from the dumb and dumber and its sequels better watch out looks like some people are after their jobs....
    Clifton city council is ? punishing the firefighters for a contract settlement? or so other reason perhaps, by not letting the firefighters have excersize equipment in the stations, and now someone tells about removing excersize equipment, because a Capt.(may he or she rest in peace) had a heart attack while excersizing.
    Well it can happen, but in an excersize area there is more likely to be help available, rather than being out of shape and have it happen on a call.
    GUESS THEY NEVER HEARD THE ONE ABOUT AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION...

    Well we've now heard about dumb and dumber, whats next dumberer?

    BE SAFE OUT THERE, even when the MUTT's work against you.!

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    Default VERY HAZARDOUS!

    Let me just give you another example of how hazardous exercise equip can be. I had my kids with my in my firehouse gym while I was rehabbing after one of my knee operations. After the treadmill, I moved to weights. My son asked if he could go on the treadmill, and I said OK at a low speed. Well I forgot to say don't touch any other buttons. He pushed the "up incline" button, and the dern thing was just far enough under the wall mirror to start to peel it off the wall. Out of the corner of me eye, I see something amiss (brain hadn't yet processed what). So reach out instinctively, and wind up catching this mirror panel (probably 2' x 5') before it crashes down on the little guy. Had to fix it myself, but no injuries.

    That near miss will never happen in Clifton

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    This has just happened to me at my place of work. I work in what you would call a disptach centre. the very nature of the job means we sit at workstations for each and every one of out 6 day, 10 hour shifts. We have a well equipped gym in the building, which is used by many people, for aerobic exercise or weightlifting. The management wanted space to put a new office in and decided that the gym was the ideal place, expect there is'nt anywhere else for the equipment to go. "Not our concern", is the reply, even when it has been pointed out that the organisation does not own the equipment, that was paid for by subsciptions, they only own the room it is/was in. So much for trying to stay fit to do you job.

    This and the start of this thread are just further examples of the "all take and no give" attitude that prevails amongst some employers.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    Default Re: VERY HAZARDOUS!

    Originally posted by Grit76
    Let me just give you another example of how hazardous exercise equip can be. I had my kids with my in my firehouse gym while I was rehabbing after one of my knee operations. After the treadmill, I moved to weights. My son asked if he could go on the treadmill, and I said OK at a low speed. Well I forgot to say don't touch any other buttons. He pushed the "up incline" button, and the dern thing was just far enough under the wall mirror to start to peel it off the wall. Out of the corner of me eye, I see something amiss (brain hadn't yet processed what). So reach out instinctively, and wind up catching this mirror panel (probably 2' x 5') before it crashes down on the little guy. Had to fix it myself, but no injuries.

    That near miss will never happen in Clifton
    I'm glad your son is OK.

    BUT...it was a stupid thing for you to do. It wasn't the exercise equipment's fault.

    It might interest you to know that most (if not all) federal LEO agencies get one hour each day for physical training. Most guys belong to a health club and use it every day. The goal is to produce and maintain healthy agents. Ever see a fat FBI agent?

    Give the union a chance. They are pretty powerful. Tommy Canzanella is a good guy. They will win this.

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    Default Re: VERY HAZARDOUS!

    Originally posted by Grit76
    Let me just give you another example of how hazardous exercise equip can be. I had my kids with my in my firehouse gym while I was rehabbing after one of my knee operations. After the treadmill, I moved to weights. My son asked if he could go on the treadmill, and I said OK at a low speed. Well I forgot to say don't touch any other buttons. He pushed the "up incline" button, and the dern thing was just far enough under the wall mirror to start to peel it off the wall. Out of the corner of me eye, I see something amiss (brain hadn't yet processed what). So reach out instinctively, and wind up catching this mirror panel (probably 2' x 5') before it crashes down on the little guy. Had to fix it myself, but no injuries.

    That near miss will never happen in Clifton
    Let me first say that I'm glad your son is ok, that sure was a close call. But I do have to say that it isn't the equipment's fault. That treadmill shouldn't have been that close to the mirror as to fall down when you used the incline. You should always check the equipment before you use it. Follow that general rule and most of the accidents that happen with gym equipment wouldn't happen. Everyone should also be checked by a doctor to make sure you're able to use the equipment, and you should be showed the proper way to use it beforehand, it would also prevent most injuries.

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    No question, George & Army. I offer the story for both educational & amusement value. We were all younger & stupider at one time.

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    originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Give the union a chance. They are pretty powerful. Tommy Canzanella is a good guy. They will win this.

    Canzanella belongs to PFANJ not NJFMBA. Clifton is FMBA Local 21, and not a member of PFANJ.
    www.FMBA21.org

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    ...And Bill Lavin is GREAT guy!
    This space for rent

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    To play devil's advocate here for a minute- I'm an OHS professional with a an emergency services background.

    Now, the pharmaceutical company I work for recently removed all gymnasium equipment from their sites due to the inherent risk associated with the use of this equipment.

    The issue for us is that staff could go in at anytime and use the equipment- untrained AND unsupervised.

    This creates a mine field for workers compensation as they could hurt themselves whilst using the equipment and we would be liable as it occurred at work, in our time. Further to this, under our health and safety legislation, the employer is liable for not providing supervision and training to staff who use the equipment.

    In response to the concerns raised by staff of not being able to use the equipment and get fit- we approached a chain of local gyms and negotiated a really good discount rate for them to be able to go there and be properly trained and supervised. (At their own expense- not ours)
    Luke

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    originally posted by lutan1
    To play devil's advocate here for a minute... This creates a mine field for workers compensation as they could hurt themselves whilst using the equipment and we would be liable as it occurred at work,
    Thanks for playing the always entertaining game of devils advocate, but put a sock in it! The fitness equipment has been in the firehouses for nearly as long as they have stood. However, the fact is there is NO documentation of firefighters being hurt while working out while on duty in Clifton. Although there IS documentation of firefighters being injured during firefighter training. Does that mean we should no longer train to avoid getting hurt??? Lets see now if on the job injuries go up, now that work outs have been banned.
    It is a good idea to have the equipment there to encourage the men to stay active and fit. If someone starts working out at work, it is possible that person will keep the routine going while off duty.
    In 2003 when so much is known about heart attacks and staying fit, you think the city would encourage a work out program to avoid having to pay for a line of duty death (which is substantially more than a line of duty injury).
    But then again, that's Clifton, where things are different and the normal laws of physics just don't apply...
    "Welcome to Clifton. A city that cares."
    (about what, we have no idea)

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    Thanks for playing the always entertaining game of devils advocate, but put a sock in it! The fitness equipment has been in the firehouses for nearly as long as they have stood. However, the fact is there is NO documentation of firefighters being hurt while working out while on duty in Clifton.
    Relax Banana!

    I'm merely explaining why the company I work for, went down this path. Initially there was an uproar, just like it appears is happening in Clifton, but once it was explained properly and everyone took a big breath and looked at the background and the POTENTIAL problems- they accepted it....

    I further went on to give an example of how we attempted to address the fitness issue with an alternative, and far safer conclusion- maybe you should try that....
    Luke

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    Relax Banana!
    Oh I am relaxed. We can't work out, so thats all I can actually do right now. I see your point as far as liability, but this is not a "company" it is a fire department where firefighters need to be fit and should be encouraged, not discouraged from working out.

    At a time when fire departments world wide are instituting a mandatory fitness program, Clifton goes in the opposite direction by banning work outs.
    It's just rediculous and it makes no sense.

    Thats all I have to say about that...

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