The Sunday Preach: Evening Edition
"The onus for fitness is not nor should it be placed on the fire department. It falls directly on you. While it is beneficial for both the department and the firefighter to keep yourself in shape, it has to start with the individual. Department sponsored and encouraged fitness programs are great to help those persons who need that little extra boost or motivation to get started, but remaining physically fit needs to be one of your personal goals. Being fit will give you the best start at being the best that you can be for you and your team. Are you the firefighter that you would want to respond to save a member of your family trapped by fire? (pg. 44)
If you really want to talk about the 'elephant on the fire floor' take a minute and follow our friend Bill Carey... he does a great job at looking at the 'stats behind the stats' when it comes to dissecting our own LODD's. While operationally a great majority of our injuries and LODD's occur in the residential setting (as this is the fire type that we respond to most frequently across our great country), the stats tell a sobering repetitive tale of death from cardiac conditions.
Fitness in the fire service is gaining momentum, albeit
tortoise like acceptance in many areas. We must realize that we are 'industrial athletes' and must prepare for combat. While not every run out the door is intense as combat, the next one may indeed be. We have to maintain a level of fitness that will allow us to maintain our ability to perform our jobs.
OUR CITIZENS ARE COUNTING ON US TO PERFORM A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING TASK... that of fighting fire!
This is not a novelty, it is our reality. With many departments still with no standard for fitness, wellness or yearly medical evaluations... we will likely see the LODD stats remain the same. Unlike the fire floor, there are many actions we can take to ensure our members are functionally fit and ready for fire performances. This is something that we can change.