Hey everyone. This topic hits close to home for me as I have had a personal experience in the past 2 years with excessive weight gain and it effects my performance as a firefighter and an EMT. Just recently I had some personal issues at home with my wife and when I am stressed out I pick up food. I am a comfort eater. I gained too much weight and now face health related issues. My grandfather and my father both had heart attacks at early ages, so the only logical thing to do was to voluntarily take myself off interior status until I lost the weight and got in shape. The two chief officers I told this too were kind of shocked and didnt know quite what to say to me, but I feel better knowing that I will not place any of my brothers in jeopardy should I have a heart attack while fighting a fire and they have to come in and get my fat rear end out. We have a full weight room in our station so I intend to start using it ASAP and hope to loose some weight and get back into the fight, but for now, Physical Fitness is the most important thing to me, my family, and my brothers in the FD, as it should be to everyone here and across the world. Support is key, and without support from fellow firefighters its difficult. Most of my so called "Brothers" are quick to shout insults at me when Im in the station struggling to perform some task but obviously hindered due to my weight, and it hurts. But none the less, I fight everyday to gain control of my eating habits again and loose the weight. Any advice would be appreciated, and support welcomed.
Keep up the fight!! You have to remember it's not a over night success story. It takes time and is a lifestyle change. Im sorry to hear that you are lacking support in "the house", one would think that would be one place you could count on support. I tell my guys the key is burning up (calories that is)more than your putting in. Anything you don't burn up, you will store. You burn up all you take in and you start burning the storage. Keep at it and surely you will win them over.
In Nc, the Highway patrol goes through a 29 week course that is more physical than any course i've seen. The problem I have on a personal level is the last 5lbs or so. I went from 225 last year to 184 as of today but really want to get down to 180. I know whats 4lbs right, but my goal was 180 and thats where I want to be. the fire service has got to get the point across to all the vols, and the paid guys, you cant go half way. We dont run into a house to stop just short of putting the flames out so why stop half way with our health !
Thats one thing I have noticed with any professional, be it firefighter, Police Officer or EMS person. They are at the ideal weight when they apply for and get the position but after working a few years on the job they get lax with the Physical Fitness and start to put on the weight. My father-in-law is a professional firefighter but has weight issues now and I am worried about his health. I think a comprehensive weight training program made mandatory by all fire departments, Law Enforcement agencies and EMS services on an annual basis is the only way to help ourselves stay fit. Its too bad really to think of all the people that would quit if they were made to keep certain levels of physical fitness, but I would rather have a core of dedicated, healthy members and cut down on the LODD stats pertaining to "Cardiac" or "Un-known Medical" related issues than have a large group of overweight individuals at risk of dropping on the scene of a heart attack 0r exhaustion.
Thanks for the support on my issue, its greatly appreciated brothers.
Being a member of a volly department, we have no PTO protocalls at all. It is a shame because as we all know the number one killer of fellow firefighters is cardiac emergencies. I have often thought of trying to instill a PTO program for our department, but with the internal BS and politics that goes with a volly department it would never get off the ground.
Personally I try to stay fit through running, tennis, golf, snowboarding and mountain biking. It is a personal decision that will oly benefit myself on the fireground.
You can make a difference Frank. Our Dept requires 1 hr of physical fitness training per shift. Now most of the time this gets pencil wipped, but at the station Im assigned I require the guys to at least get 30 min of caridovascular training for the shift. Our promotion process also requires 80 hrs of physical fitness training prior to promotion. You just keep leading the way and soon others will follow.
1-Required 1 hour of PT per shift
2-Annual Physical Agility test- you fail not eligible for promotion. Retest 90 days later, fail again written reprimand and placed on probation. Retest again 90 days later (6 months after initial) you fail a 3rd time? Your looking for another job..