1. #1
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    Question Fitness Standard

    Hey everyone. My department is a fairly busy all volunteer company that operates in a suburban area. We are pushing to implement a physical fitness standard, but are encountering some resistance from members of the brigade. I am trying to find as many different fitness standards and tests as I can to present to the brigade at our next business meeting. If anyone has copies of their standards and/or fitness tests I would love to check them out. Thanks.

    -David

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    Lightbulb Wellness initiative

    Our union just incorporated the IAFC/IAFF Joint Wellness Initiative into our contract. It is an excellent program that incorporates everything from physical fitness to mental health. It might be something to look into. You might have better luck if you assured people that it would be a non-punitive program. No punishment if they dont succeed. That was one of the biggest hold ups for our department. Once it was explained as non-punitive just about everyone was for it. Good luck!!

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    Fitness in a volunteer FD is something that is going to be a tuff row to hoe. Is it needed, yes. But how are you going to enforce it. You will never make it mandatory, cause they are volunteers and they just barely have time to do the necessary training now with out adding something else. I train for and take part in the Firefighters Combat Challenge, something that I do cause I want to not because I have to do it. I believe right now adding a fitness requirement to a VFD would have guys leaving faster that you can replace them.

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    I believe right now adding a fitness requirement to a VFD would have guys leaving faster that you can replace them.
    Maybe so, and thats not necessarily bad is it? I may be out of line here and if so, Im sorry up front ok, really! I *AM* fairy new to the FIRE community , but here is what Im thinking.
    I would like to have a 'guidline' for the VFD I am applying to that describes my fitness goals better than 'in good shape' so I have a rope attatched to the Brass Ring Im reaching for. Second,I see this is a field of exellence, and knowing whats expected or where you need to be would be a good thing seems? Why would anyone want to be suprised down the road?
    ( correct me at any time, like I said, Im pretty new )
    Next,why spend more training dollars when it could be spared some and put to better use in lieu of a guy who dont wanna push himself to advance in his health, fitness,& abilities, yes I said abilities! I believe just because he is a Volunteer that shouldnt mean he is expected to be less, when someone is hurt, will his helping hand be expected to 'hustle' less? It will be needed later and if he dont want to, there is a opportunity open for the 250 guys/gals in line behind him that are willing to go for it and are willing to bleed for that shot! Its kinda like the 'weed out the weak' or for better terms,weed out the 'interested... but not that interested'
    Perfect example, I just recently have applied at mannnnny local Dpt's for VFF and met many folks, 98% were in terminator style shape, and a few seemed to maybe catch the glaze falling off a donut, well, If thats the best 'ability' they want to have, then I say move on to a career aimed at that, and let those who put out the effort have a shot, please

    Disclaimer:
    I am however new, and my opinions are only mine, and I am willing to read any and all ideas and flame mail with an open mind

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    the other 2% you have seen must have been the medics......just kidding i have much respect for the medics just a joke.
    but serioulsy what u want to look at is how many people u have breaking down the door to get on your vfd. and can your dept. affoard to lose some personel, because u will if u make it mandatory. so should it be mandatory?---yes is it fesable?------maybe

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    Did you check the IAFF website?

  7. #7
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    Look in the Ohio forums. There is a thread titled "Fitness Stuff" in there. It is in reference to new regulations from the State of Ohio for ALL firefighters (I believe with the exception of industrial brigades that don't protect the "Public".

    There is a lot of info in there. There are links for all the sections on www.oapff.org (I believe).

    There are going to be many changes and not everyone will like them, but I believe this is going to be very good for all of us.

    I know some of the things are mandatory fit testing for anyone who is required to wear SCBA, plus a mandatory annual exam by an MD OKing perople to wear them.

    Another section is for Wellness and requiring all FDs to set up a Wellness program for their employees and providing means of wellness (i.e equipment or memberships to a gym, etc)

    The only big question is, "Who's going to pay for this?"

    I haven't read it all, just basically glancing through it......

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    IMHO if they are doing training like they should be and holding everyone to participating in the hands on part or not getting the hours. They they should have no problem being physically fit...

    I know that alot of the guys on my department arent fit but most of them dont participate in the hands on, and to me I think that is a crying shame.

    As far as the whos gonna pay for it part. The basics of fitness and wellness dont cost any money. Id be more then happy to work up a workout plan for any fire department that wouldnt cost any money.

    Also a big part of being physically and mentally fit is your diet. As one of my college instructors once said "The body isnt made in the gym its made in the kitchen", and you just cant tell someone how to eat. Be they Volunteer or Paid

  9. #9
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    I'm not just talking about the fitness stuff costing money. I'm talking about the SCBA Fit testing annually for all FFs, plus the physical exam /release by MD annually for all FFs, equipment upgrades, etc. I'm not against this at all, just saying it's not going to be cheap for many places........

    As far as hands on training, that's not enough for everyone to stay fit. Are you doing workouts in your hands on? Cardio workouts? We do hands on training all the time, but I'm telling you that it is not enough to keep someone fit.

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    Good point about the MD and stuff. But for a station that isnt willing to put up the costs I think just the workouts would be better then nothing. But for just the working out. It would cost zero dollars. But im like you i dont think it well happen unless the members really want it.

    As far as the training goes. I guess I should of worded my original statement differently. If you can complete alot of the training that we have to put up with. You have to be (to a degree) in some form of decent shape.

    As far as hte question of are you doing cardio workouts when you do hands on training. BY ALL MEANS!! Cardio is any form of exercise that raises and maintains your heart rate for a predetermend amount of time. Power Walking is considered a cardio workout even. So walking around in a set of turn out gear and a SCBA is diffenetly cardio.

    Remember the last time you did a full dress training and tell me if your heart rate wasnt raised for more then 3 mins.

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    Maybe you can talk to a local gym in your area. I know the one in our town gives volunteer ff's a discount in the membership fee. I personally think it is a great idea and we have some guys that take advantage of it, unfortunetly not enough though. I work out 4 days a week; which consists of lifting wieghts all four days and running 2-3 days, depending on my schedule. And there is no doubt at all that being in good shape helps me perform fireground tasks. Being fit is very important.. paid or volly

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