From the SDUT. Find a 16 story bldg and climb it 4 times every weekend.
CORONADO — Ron Allison knows that no weightlifting regimen or StairMaster routine can prepare Coronado firefighters for an inferno in any of the city’s 10 high-rise condo towers better than drills up and down the buildings’ own stairs.
So about once a week, the engine company captain and other Coronado Fire Department officials lead weekly training exercises in the 16-story El Encanto tower at Coronado Shores.
“We take the high-rises seriously,” said Allison, 58. “The best way to fight fires here is for it be second nature.”
It’s a grueling workout, occasionally conducted with full gear that weighs up to 90 pounds and sometimes with a firefighter’s 27-pound breathing apparatus.
During a recent drill, which is usually conducted weekend mornings, Allison, engineer David Hingeley, 48, and three newly permanent firefighters — Larry Hogueisson, 40, Nate Ramos, 27, and Brian Standing, 24, — climbed the El Encanto tower six times. Between each run, they did a series of push-ups and sit-ups.
They didn’t wear any equipment this time, Allison said, because the gear tends to bang up walls and make a lot of noise; they limit wearing the heavy, bulky clothing and tools for special training. Besides, he said, they don’t want to wear out their welcome.
Locals say they appreciate the Fire Department’s presence.
“It’s important that they are familiar with our building in case of a fire,” said Alan Aegerter, the building manager. “We know the importance of that for our own safety. Our 10 buildings are unique on the island.”
Coronado resident Ray Willhite, who was jogging by the Coronado Shores, asked: “What is the downside?”
El Encanto resident Joy Rottenstein, 66, who was waiting outside her building for a ride last week, likened the firefighters to ballet dancers.
“Look at their bodies,” Rottenstein said. “They’re always in shape.”
Of cities in San Diego County, Coronado is second only to San Diego in the number of high-rise buildings. The towers, just south of the Hotel del Coronado, are part of the largest oceanfront condo complex in the state.
The Fire Department serves a city of 26,000 and works from two stations, including the headquarters on Sixth Street. Another station is at the Coronado Cays, across from Silver Strand State Beach. Last year, the department responded to 1,917 calls.
All of the agency’s 27 firefighters — six captains, six engineers and 15 firefighter-paramedics — participate in the training.
Firefighter-paramedic Nate Ramos said he was in pain for days after his first Shores training.
“You can’t duplicate the workout, not even with a stair-stepper,” said Ramos of Rancho Bernardo.
Fire Chief John Traylor said the training is vital, as crews called to a fire at the Coronado Shores would not take elevators.
“It’s good training to get used to taking the stairs and being prepared,” Traylor said.
Allison, who will retire Thursday after 33 years in Coronado, said he has fought only two major fires in the Coronado Shores in the past nine years. But he and engineer Hingeley said residents should know how Coronado firefighters ready themselves for emergencies there.
“The guys here are pretty darn fit,” Hingeley said. “We’re extremely confident that we can handle anything.”
Yes, Push back. Its called that cause it literally means push back from the table. Eat smaller portions and get off your butt and away from the vidio games. Actually do something that requires you to exercise. There's a no brainier...................
Eat lots of veggies, back off the potatos and bread, lean meat, find a good supplement to fill in the gaps, and exercise. There is no magic pill... there are however great programs.
Stick with it and set realistic goals.
I started last january at 245 pounds and as of last week was 200. I did it in a healthy manner and lifestyle change was a huge part of it.
I am a firm believer in supplements, so much so that after losing the first 25 pounds I became a distributor for a great company. But... you need to find what works for you.
Get a bike, or start swimming. Running can be tough if you are really heavy, trust me. Find a sport/activity that makes you happy and stick with it.
P90 is great, some of the guys here do it. Other guys are runners, I ride bikes, and others play some type of ball sport to stay in shape. It is all about finding what makes you happy, so you wont burn out in 6 weeks and go back to where you started or worse.