The Administration of the City of Passaic, NJ (for which I have served proudly for 23 years), has recently banned on-duty firefighters from using the gym.

The best way for you to get all the details surrounding this issue, without boring you with writing it all down, is to go to our website: www.fmbalocal13.org or reading the links attached. Our website has all the articles and medial coverage (just scroll down to the bottom of the home page).

So the question remains: Would you consider working out on duty "job related"?

Your input on this; for or against, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your anticipated help,
Larry

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OSHA certainly does. Spoke to an OSHA inspector last week about a case in which an employee was hurt while working out at his place of employment. It was classified as "work-related." The city must be trying to cut down on their liability exposure. Ironic!
This is still an ongoing issue for us and we are stunned by the position our City's administration has taken. Not once did they meet with us to discuss ways to prevent accidents from reoccuring. The incidents they cited as to why the gym is off limits to on-duty personnel was a result of two individuals who had NO gym experience. Personal trainers could have been brought in to teach our members the proper use of excercise equipment and the correct way to train. The need for firefighters to be in top physical shape cannot be stressed enough. Nevertheless, we are diligently pursuing this and in doing so have amassed a tremendous amount of information supporting our position. May 14th is the date in which this will go to arbitration. I'll keep everyone posted.
Looking at it from a healthcare point of view it would seem to me that they would want their firefighters to have access to a gym to stay healthy. Our dept. just recently got some donated equipment and working out just 3 times a week has helped me out trememdously. We had to sign a waver saying we wouldn't hold the dept. responsible if someone got hurt but still if you are careful and read the directions that came with a lot of the equipment everything should be good to go.I should also mention that we are all volunteer so that may make a bit of a difference.
I have been advised by several workmens comp attorneys; that no matter what language that is written into a waiver agreement, the City must still provide you with medical coverage. You cannot sign your coverage rights away, therefore, if you are injured while on duty, regardless of the circumstances, the City or Municipality will be responsible for your medical coverage. (On the job injuries also opens the City up to lawsuits) You may want to run that waiver your members signed by an attorney that specializes in workmens compensation cases to see if it's enforceable.
With the Queensland Fire and Rescue Servive (QFRS) We are allowed to train. Its called Fitness Well Being. One hour aday in the afternoon. Weights,Beep Test etc!

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