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Do you know of any departments that are providing incentives, rewards of any type, or other items of interest for those who meet stated goals of fitness programs within the fire department?
I noticed that the AFG guidelines specifically ruled out any funds that may be requested for rewards systems which leads me to believe that someone out there is already doing this program or has at least set plans in place for such reward systems.
Let me know what you are hearing in this area please...

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I have not heard of any incentives or rewards but I do know of a few departments issuing challanges among shifts which look to focus on weight loss or meeting physical performance goals in which the crews had all chiped in to pool funds, but no officially sponsered or funded by the union or department . I will keep my eye out.
The Pike Township Fire Deaprtment in Marion County, In. (Indianapolis) has, for more than 20 years, offered cash incentives for firefighters to excel in annual fitness testing. The rewards are based on age group and gender specific expectations of fitness and how well you score on a nationally recognized scale of expected fitness levels. The testing incorporates upper & lower body strength, muscular endurance and aerobic capacity.
This is the type of information that I am looking for, exactly the info that I am looking for...
Would it be possible for you to send me more info on this program?
I was a member of Pike Township for 23 years, having left in 2006 for an opportunity with a department closer to home that was hiring its first paid personnel (officers). When I began at Pike we had workout time scheduled into each day. Even in recruit class we spent the first 60 - 90 minutes in "P.T." The first several years we had a bi-annual Physical Fitness Evaluation. This PFE consisted of push-ups, sit-ups (as many as possible in a time frame) grip strength, leg strength, spirometry, caliper body fat testing, seated stretch, balance test, obstacle course and a mile and a half run. There were 3 catagories above average that would result in reward. If you scored below average then your workouts could / would be monitored by your company officer or by administrative officers, or if you fell below a certain mark you could be sent for a fitness for duty test at our occupational health provider. The PFE was set up before I was there, but as I understand it was the result of one of our chiefs, Dawn Smith, having had the opportunity to go to the Cooper Institute in Texas. Chief Smith was also a Registered Nurse, and I believe she had a real interest in the physical fitness of firefighters because of that. Whatever the reason, Pike Township was years ahead of any other department in Marion County, and I believe anywhere in the midwest. As the years went on the PFE evolved to be a little more reflective of the job. The next evolution was spearheaded by Marty Wilkey, who came to the fire service from the Air Force. He was also a nationally ranked bi-athlete (run & shoot). He poured a great deal of time and energy into our overall wellness program, and I believe he made it the best that was available, from health screenings to workouts to nutrition and exercise consultation services. The last few years of my time there we even had $5.00 a month memberships to a premier fitness center just outside of our boundary. The departments commitment to fitness is easily seen by the accomplishments of its members: numerous team first places and top 5 finishes in the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon; individual and team first places and top 5 finishes in the AUL "Bop-to-the-Top": numerous top 10 finishes in the regional IronMan triathalon series....etc. Please don't look at that as a bragging list, but rather as what can be accomplished individually and collectively when a department is committed to the health and well being of its members. Even with all of that I think the most telling tale is that our cost per individual for insurance was only $5.00 per pay and only $10.00 for family coverage. That could only be due to the low claim rate which can be tied directly to the health of the employees.
Hope this helps, Joe


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