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Dan Kerrigan's Blog (18)


“Only one quarter (27 percent) of fire departments have a basic firefighter fitness and health program, slightly down from 30 percent in 2010.” 

-NFPA Needs Assessment, 2015


27 percent


“…slightly down from 30 percent in 2010”




While it is doubtful that every single department in the country participated in this assessment…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on May 9, 2018 at 1:20pm — No Comments

Why Bother?


“You can do everything right on this job and still get killed.”

~Captain Paddy Brown, FDNY


He’s right.

But would you ever stop learning, studying, training…being a student of our craft, because you can still get killed no matter what you do?  I certainly hope not.

So if asked you: Is it ok to avoid maintaining your health and wellness because you may suffer a tragic health event anyway?…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on February 24, 2017 at 8:00am — No Comments

Core Principles—The Company Officer’s Role in Promoting Firefighter Fitness

It was an honor to have recently participated in the latest round of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Heart to Heart: Strategizing an Evidence-Based Approach to Reduce Cardiac Disease and Death in the Fire Service initiative.  The meeting brought together fire service research scientists, fire service professionals, and marketing experts from…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on October 12, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Firefighter Health and Fitness: Bridging the Gap between Agreement and Action

“We can’t be operationally effective without our health.”

~Rommie Duckworth


I am paraphrasing Chief Bobby Halton when I say that we will never be able to mitigate all of the risks we face as firefighters (and we should know and accept these risks before we take the oath).  As a firefighter, putting yourself in harm’s way to save another is not only something you…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on August 3, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Fire Service Circle of Life


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves ~Lao Tzu

Recently, a close friend and fire service brother posted an old picture of me on social media.  I was a young assistant chief acting as the operations officer on a residential structure fire.  When I saw the picture, I thought, “Where in the world did he come up with that…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on March 22, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Commit to your Health in 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, it is a good time to ask yourself where you stand in terms of your personal attitude, accountability and the action you take on your own health and fitness.  As a member of the fire service, it is probably the one thing that you can improve upon on a personal level that has the most influence on every other part of your life and all of the people that are a part of it.

Your impact is more powerful than you may think.  Every day,…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 30, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

From Firefighter to Fire Chief: Hard Truths Everyone Needs to Know

Updated November 17, 2016

I hope what you’re about to read upsets you.

  • Annually, on average, there are between 80-100 line-of-duty-deaths (LODD).
  • Annually, on average, approximately 50% of LODDs are due to sudden cardiac events (SCE).
  • Annually, there are also between 800 and 900 non-fatal yet high-impact SCEs reported. This figure is believed to be drastically underreported (Smith, 2015).…

Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 16, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Sport of Firefighting

Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work.

~Vince Lombardi


Firefighters are athletes.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                            Specifically, we are tactical athletes. With that…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on September 22, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Inspire Fitness Success through Action


                        Photo courtesy of The First Twenty

If you think a personal change in your level of health and fitness does not have an impact, I’d like you to meet…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on July 31, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Fitness Success and International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week

International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, sponsored by the IAFC and NVFC, starts June 14 and runs through June 20, 2015. This year's theme, Creating a Culture of Safety, offers many opportunities for improvement from the community, department, and personal perspectives. Whether you take on a fitness challenge …


Added by Dan Kerrigan on June 10, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Firefighter Health and Wellness: Setting the Right Example


A short while back, I posted a blog called The Undeniable Truth that…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on April 21, 2015 at 11:26am — No Comments

Firefighter Health and Wellness: Success Stories and More

A short while back, I posted a blog called The Undeniable Truth that challenged fire departments to be courageous in…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on March 26, 2015 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Avoiding Firefighter Health and Wellness? What’s your Rationale?

For someone like me, it’s hard to fathom that anyone in the fire service could produce an argument against improving the health and fitness of firefighters. The statistics alone tell anyone that will listen it is the most significant barrier to reducing LODDs. Nevertheless, I understand that the issue, sadly, is more complicated than that. As I've said before – it’s…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on March 10, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

The Undeniable Truth


My friends at Tailboard Training published a new blog post recently. It’s called Ultrahazardous. Everyone in the fire service should read this short piece…everyone from the department chief to the newest rookie, to every person even considering the pursuit…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on February 26, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Getting the Most out of Your Fitness Training

The quality and purpose of your fitness regimen are much more important than quantity.

As firefighters, we can all agree that attaining and maintaining physical and mental fitness is a requirement of our job. If you know me, you know that I push this philosophy, and so should you. But any fitness professional will tell you, training just to train instead of training for purpose will not produce the results you might expect. A couple conversations I've had recently with some…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on February 11, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

So, you want to be a firefighter?

I was recently asked to speak at the East Brandywine Volunteer Fire Company (Chester County, PA) 2015 Officer Installment ceremony. As Fire Chief John Edwards explained when he first contacted me, what began several years ago as an informal gathering to recognize newly appointed fire officers has evolved into an…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on January 20, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Reflect. Set Goals. Become a Champion.

As 2014 draws to a close, many of us take the time to reflect.  Where are we now in comparison to where we were a year ago, both personally and professionally?  As an individual? As an organization? As a profession?  If you're as passionate about the fire service as I am (as I am sure you are), then you understand how important it is to balance your passion for the craft with family -- to balance your life appropriately and not forget what's most important.  So, as you reflect and set…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 31, 2014 at 11:33am — No Comments

Renewing the Fire Service Tradition Starts with You

I recently attended the IAFC-VCOS Symposium in Clearwater Beach.  It was a tremendous experience filled with great course content, lively discussions and debate about how to move the fire service forward in a unified fashion, and awesome networking with current and future fire service leaders from all across the country.  As you might expect, one of the most talked about topics was the ongoing UL/NIST fire behavior research.  It’s important stuff, to be sure.  In fact, the underlying theme…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on November 13, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

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