Does your department provide you with the tools necessary to maintain appropriate physical conditioning? Do you have a gym at the fire station? What kind of equipment has worked the best?

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Thats a great idea Mike that Phoenix came up with! thanks
excellent information, and a fantastic example of how you are helping others. the true essence of why we do what we do...
don't talk to you chief, talk to whoever is responsible for risk management... the simple argument is ask about discontinuing servicing your apparatus and equipment... how is your body any different? failure to provide routine maintenance is sure to result in a breakdown and need for replacement...
I laugh at those geniouses who claim that the injury liability is to great while exercising on duty.
My former employer is one of those geniouses- now I don't know your workers compensation laws, but over here it's very black and white.

If you use the gym whilst on shift, the employer is liable if you're injured whilst using the equipment. (You strain a muscle that puts you off work, then the employer has to compensate you, pay medicals, etc.

Add to the fact the there is no qualified fitness instructor, then the employer has just breached our workplace health and safety laws by failing to provide adeqaute supervision or a safe workplace free from risks and hazards.

Both are huge liabilities and carry some pretty harsh penalties from the authorities.

Those same intelectuals also took the poles out of the stations, and can't figure out why staff is getting injured on the stairs so frequently.
That wouldn't be because people are running down stairs?

That wouldn't be because they take two or more steps at a time?

That wouldn't be because they don't often use the handrail provided?

You're right- stairs are dangerous. But only when used incorrectly or in an unsafe manner....
It seems like this whole physical fitness issue is one of those where we are damned if we do & damned if we don't. By strengthinging our muscles & improving our lung function & all the things working out does for us, no body wants to be responsible for the "what if"s of the situation. This is why the IAFF doesn't like their people "moonlighting" as volunteers. What happens if they get hurt while they are on scene as a volunteer fire fighter & can't WORK their career jobs because of that? Of course that is one of the biggest issues period for FVDs. People who would become members have second thoughts because they have to provide for their families and although these days some FDs have insurance to cover it & workers comp, they are still not earning their full pay. The over time pay is gone & the bills pile up. It is a liability to them they may not be willing to make a sacrifice for.

Same with the fitness issue. We all need to work out (although some of the guys do get a good physical work out @ their jobs) & make sure we can perform and last through it without getting weak or having a coronary but who wants the liability of covering us in case we get hurt? It is a RISK. Its ALL a RISK!! Which RISK to we consider the lesser of the 2 evils? Conditioning or getting hurt on scene and not being able to do the job? Yea, well it doesn't happen every day but if you needed to get your incopassitated 175lb buddy out of a situation, could you? With both of you in full PPE?

Every time you respond to a call you put yourself @ risk. What is an "acceptable" risk?

hehehe I can recomment aerobic exercise for cardiac health but I don't see a lot of macho (not meant to offend anyone) guys doing aerobics a couple of nights a week in the fire station.
As to the poles first, or more specifically the stairs, anything is dangerous when used incorrectly or in an unsafe manor. As is the pole. They haven't banned the steps yet however.

The employer is responsible for ANY injuries while at work. It seams it is less complicated to penalize an employee for breaching workplace health and safety laws than to penalize the employer for failing to provide any health and fitness plan and/or the facilities to implement and follow this plan in the work place. So take the easy road I guess. Rather than encourage the department to buy into an in-house program, allow the risk assesment team to forbid it because of the potential for injury.

That same risk assesment team is usually sleeping or hiding, or sharpening their pencils when the firefighters become vocal about the health and safety risks of sending understaffed engines and trucks out the door. But that must be something to big for them to handle. So yeah, ban the exercise equipment from the fire station...we could get hurt. And so it goes.

I'll answer the reply to my specific explanation to my department's lack of involvement. It went beyond the Chief, who, again is all for it. Most likely the health and safety officer was concerned that a firefighter could strain or sprain a muscle while working out with that 25 pound dumbell. So it's better to do nothing at all, and forget the 100 pounds or so of equipment carried, up several flights of stairs, preparing to fight a 1000 degree inferno. The gym is too dangerous. Even with me, as a certified fitness coordinator with about 35 years of experience in that endeaver, required 'certiications" and employment in the fitness industry.
I give up. They win.
our workout equipment is in our fire stations and no one is allowed to use the facilities unless they work for us. we have not had a single problem with untrained people using our stuff... and with my younger firefighters, if they don't get the chance to workout, they get cranky and into trouble... it's best to keep folks busy and healthy. ms
I was in a class recently with a dept. from another county and this subject came up and he told us that his dept. had just gotten rid of all their exercise equipment to make room for a pool table...yikes!
Our department provides equipment and time for physical training. 1530-1700 is set aside for PT every day.

I've tried many different machines, free weights, & workouts. I started using kettlebells a year and a half ago and love them. I start out with 20 minutes of kettlebell training. I follow this with donning an SCBA (no facepiece), picking up a 100' x 1 3/4" high rise bundle, and climbing our two-story training tower 30 times. I cool down with a two-mile walk in the SCBA. I do this routine every work day.

I try to mix up using conventional workout and job-oriented routines.
We are lucky here, the local clinic, physical therapy center, offers FREE membership to state employees and allows that to include volunteer fire personel. Me and another lady on my department weight train and work out for 1 to 1.5 hours 5 mornings a week. LOVE IT!!!!

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