Brent- First off I am glad to hear of the strong relationship your fire department has with the ER and gladd the department did not have the first LODD. I am sorry to hear that the department is not well liked, but the goal of the page as I continue to grow the page is to help promote fitness training your department can initiate within the fire house and ways to get assistance from the medical community. Is the hospital you have the good relationship with also the same hospital who does your annual health screenings? How many members are there in the department?
I am going to contact you tomorrow actually! We have a new contract physician in Rochester and hope to work with them to bring them up to speed in relation to job knowledge. I think prevention is key to recovery. The better health you are in to begin with, the quicker your recovery if an accident happens. Getting data that shows prevention saves $$ is key when you face yearly budget woes. The fitness side is a big puzzle for me. I think there is so much to change ( union,admin,dr,legal, and the ever difficult nut- firefighters facing a change) it is daunting. Being new in the position and learning the ropes (so to speak) leaves little time to attempt a foray into uncharted waters.
I have spoken with back in october I do believe with medical staff who works with your department about estabilishing a model of the injury prevention program I run. The not wanting to go off into uncharted waters is important and I am working on a variety of topics ranging from exercises to be done within the firehouse with as minimal equip. as possible and looking to partner up with departments to do research on the benefits of injury prevention measures to help people like you to make a change for the better and to also work directly when possible to help estabilish programs and consult regarding training. Please post questions that you may have to me directly or indirectly on here or email firstname.lastname@example.org or can call me at work 203 498 5980 ask for Mike U or cell 203 915 5643. If I cannot answer the question there I will help lead you in the right direction or get back to you.
We were fortunate enough to get an AFG grant to send all of our firefighters to Cooper Clinic & Institute for a comprehensive physical. This physical was an all day affair that began with bloods, urine, vision, hearing, and respiratory testing. Then you were sent to get your thoracic EBT scan. From there it was on to the cardio endurance testing, flexibility and strength evaluations, and then the face time with the doctor. From there you went to see the nutritionist were a custom designed nutritional plan was developed based on the results of everything else. This plan was designed to be one that a person can live everyday on. No dieting allowed. Overall, most of our guys were there for 6 hours with some staying as long as 7 1/2 hours for remedial education and bartering with the nutritionist time.
We also brought in instructors to teach the crews how to shop smarter (healthier), how to cook better, and how get a little leaner. Their (Cooper's) catch phrase to be learned by all was how to make better bad choices. This same grant also allowed us to send three members to the Fire Service Fitness Specialist training at Cooper.
We also were able to get another AFG grant this last year that is allowing us to upgrade our in station gym area to include commercial grade cardio equipment, free weights, dumbbells, and benches with accessories. Once this equipment is delivered and operational we will implement our new fitness policy that will start out with a mandatory cardio workout each and every shift that you are here. From there each firefighter will be assigned to one of our fitness specialist to work with to design a custom program that will achieve the firefighter's goal and ours.
The goal is to provide our people with the ability to survive a career in the fire service while reducing their risk for heart disease. We also have some funds for follow up physicals later this year in hopes of allowing the guys to see some of the immediate benfits that can happen with small changes in habits. Without the AFG programs there is not any way that a department like ours could have done so much for our personnel. Now it is up to us to make certain that all of these funds continue to provide a heart healthy life style for our crews for many years to come.
Our department has an annual physical program, where a contracted medical group comes in, does bloodwork and a complete physical meeting NFPA 1500. If we do not meet/pass the physical at that time, we are sent to our own private doctor to get medical clearance. Once all the medical clearance is done, we have an annual agility test that we have to take, with its components similar to the CPAT.
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