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As we should all be attempting to reduce our risk associated with cardiac related LODD's, who has taken the next step and implemented mandatory cardio training while on duty? Do you allow exceptions to this policy and if so, what are they? Is there a minimum amount of time that you must participate? Is there a standard that you must meet, or is it just a policy that makes you get out of the recliner and move with purpose?
I am very interested in developing a policy here and would appreciate any and all input I can gain from all of you before I write this thing. What pitfalls should I watch for? What kind of resistance did you get when your department implemented the policy? Has it been challenged in court (I hope that no one would litigate the fact that we want to help them live longer)? Did you go beyond cardio and implement strength / flexibility training as well?
Sound off...

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Replies to This Discussion

We have a General Order on cardiovascular fitness stating that one should be able to run on a treadmill for 12 METS and stay below your maximum heart rate. We have recommendations for working out on duty, but not mandatory as long as you meet the 12 METS criteria, even then, mandatory fitness has never been enforced. I believe this GO is antiquated. I don't know if that is any help, but I would like to see what you come up with since I would like to see our standards change as well.

If it were up to me, fitness would be a priority in the morning. It would get everyones bodies warmed up for the day hopefully preventing some injuries. Afternoon fitness hour seems to get interrupted more often than not, which is what we do (or don't do on most days). The cook never gets his fitness hour. And most importantly, let's not forget NUTRITION. I am not sure why we can't enforce nutrition but we can enforce the way you move your body. I can make someone fit, but if they eat like crap, they are still going to have cardiovascular and other health problems and we will still have LODD's.

As for cardiovascular vs. strength, power, flexibility, endurance, agility, coordination, accuracy, speed and stamina, if you can't tell I'm a firm believer in Crossfit, I say all need to be addressed. I can't remember the last time I went for a 3 mile run on a call. However I do remember picking something up off of the floor, dragginf heavy stuff, lifting a ladder over head, you get the idea.

Many departments have adopted this methodology, including the military and police. Check out the Crossfit Journal and contact some of the authors of the articles that have written about the successes they have had. Check out South Metro Fire Crossfit site. They sent me some great info about implementation.
Eric,
Thanks for your input. The old school in me wants to keep the work outs in the afternoon; yet, I do believe that we should take a look at our overall schedule and find how we can accomplish the same tasks within the expectation of a work day (i.e. preplans, hydrants, training, maintenance, food, fitness, etc.). Sometimes these items will require coordination with others schedules to rearrange the fitness schedule.
I also agree that we need more than cardio but wouldn't this be a good area to start with? Just asking as I do not know the answer. I will also take a look at the mentioned sites as we continue to prepare this SOP. Thanks again for your input. I believe that you will influence our end product. I will try to send you a copy when it is done.
Be safe,
Mark

Erik Hayes said:
We have a General Order on cardiovascular fitness stating that one should be able to run on a treadmill for 12 METS and stay below your maximum heart rate. We have recommendations for working out on duty, but not mandatory as long as you meet the 12 METS criteria, even then, mandatory fitness has never been enforced. I believe this GO is antiquated. I don't know if that is any help, but I would like to see what you come up with since I would like to see our standards change as well.

If it were up to me, fitness would be a priority in the morning. It would get everyones bodies warmed up for the day hopefully preventing some injuries. Afternoon fitness hour seems to get interrupted more often than not, which is what we do (or don't do on most days). The cook never gets his fitness hour. And most importantly, let's not forget NUTRITION. I am not sure why we can't enforce nutrition but we can enforce the way you move your body. I can make someone fit, but if they eat like crap, they are still going to have cardiovascular and other health problems and we will still have LODD's.

As for cardiovascular vs. strength, power, flexibility, endurance, agility, coordination, accuracy, speed and stamina, if you can't tell I'm a firm believer in Crossfit, I say all need to be addressed. I can't remember the last time I went for a 3 mile run on a call. However I do remember picking something up off of the floor, dragginf heavy stuff, lifting a ladder over head, you get the idea.

Many departments have adopted this methodology, including the military and police. Check out the Crossfit Journal and contact some of the authors of the articles that have written about the successes they have had. Check out South Metro Fire Crossfit site. They sent me some great info about implementation.

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