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Encouraging Weight Loss and Physical Fitness


We all know the statistics. We all know or should know by now, what's killing our brother and sisters across America. 


What are you doing to increase your level of fitness? What are you doing to drop a few of those extra pounds? If you are a Company or Chief Officer you have a responsibility to yourself, your family, your department, the citizens you serve, your members and their families to promote healthier life styles.


May 2, 2011, I started a program within my department that we saw great results in. Actually, much better than I anticipated. Some members lost greater than 50 pounds! There were many who lost in the 30 pound and 20 pound range in just 12 weeks.


I am very proud of the members of my department who took on this challenge voluntary, to lose weight and increase their level of fitness. It doesn't take allot to motivate firefighters when it comes to weight loss. All of us want to lose a couple of pounds but usually we are missing the motivational piece. I can't tell you what that piece is as it varies for everyone. As an officer it is your responsibility to know your people and find out what motivates them and then get to work!


Take a look at this article below at what I did within my department. Please contact me if you would like additional details.

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Comment by P.J. Norwood on August 9, 2011 at 1:14pm

Trevor, I wish I had the answer for you, I truly wish it was that easy! One key to good leadership is knowing your people (who are you most important asset) and understand them in ways no one else does.

Motivation is a key element to the daily running of the fire service. In this case I thought money would be a keep motivational factor. I solicited the union body for a $450 donation and charged each member entering the contest a $10 entry fee. This made up the prize money. We had 30 members join out of 45 which I assumed was due to the chance at a good prize of money, increased fitness level and decrease weight in the end. Well, I couldn't be more wrong! The three top finishers all donated their money to the local food bank. So in the end my theory was incorrect. In talking to many of the participants they were all looking to lose some weight but just needed and "excuse". The camaraderie of the firehouse and the ability to do it with their brothers who were all in it at the same time was the piece they needed. Basically, a common goal amongst a common group will have great benefits.


So Trevor, I am really not sure if this answered your question completely but I hope I was able to offer some insight. I would recommend by printing and posting the article and my blog post in your firehouse. Point it out to a few key members that may stir some discussion and you may be surprised who would want to be a participant! Good luck and remember you have NOTHING to lose by trying! If I can offer you anything please contact me here or send me an e-mail at if you would like any of the documentation I put together.





Comment by P.J. Norwood on August 7, 2011 at 9:13pm
Katy, please send me a e-mail at so I can send you the information.
Comment by Katy Luetke on August 7, 2011 at 1:26pm

Chief I would to get more information from you about your program and the results!


~Katy Luetke

Comment by Bobby Halton on August 1, 2011 at 2:14pm

Great article about the weight loss program you initiated in your department. This is a fantastic story thank you for sharing it with us. It coincides directly with Dr. Brown's report that said firefighters who could be expected to fight to two or more fires in one day need to be in elite physical condition. Perhaps you could expand this into a bigger training article for the magazine.

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