Ok...I have a question, and I am hoping that ya'll can help give me some good ideas. I am a member of a small rural fire department; and like many of you, we do not have any place to work out. I do a lot of exercise myself and with a few others on our depetment. My question is this: how does one go about trying to encourage and push the fitness issue on a department? I am not an officer...just a lowely firefighter. I have a GREAT line of communication with my officers and my chief. I am just curious if any of you have any suggestions for getting the ball rolling. Very few people in our department are as passionate about getting and staying fit as I am. As I said earlier, a few of us get together and run or work out on our own; but there has got to be a better way. I have looked at some good used equipment, but we don't currently have much space for anything.

Physical Fitness is VERY important to me. I know that we don't get that many fires, but our guys and gals are just as likely to have problems as anyone...if not more so! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all. Stay Safe and have a great day!


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Your asking the million dollar question. I would say that any department that does not have a mandatory minimum fitness requirement is struggling with the same challenge. My personnel opinion is that you are making a difference right now by setting the example. Continue to work out yourself. Then continue to encourage your crew and finally the rest of the department. Engage your crews in physically demanding drills when doing training. And do physical activities with them that are not fire related (golf, biking, hiking etc) when off duty.

If you do find a way that gets guys out of the chairs and moving toward better fitness then my friend you'll write a book that will sell a million copies.

Good luck and be safe,

Rick Hauf
Battalion Chief
Stillwater Fire Department
Thanks for the ideas and words. I have thought about the incentive program; and in all honesty, that seems to be one of the more logical ideas. There is no question that concern about fitness is contagious (sp?). We are starting to see more and more firefighters getting concerned and doing something about it, not only in our fire department but also in the other area fire departments. I had a discussion with one my Lt. the other day about some ideas that I have, and at least I know that we are on the same page. I also have the backing of several other members of my crew that I work out with on a regular basis. In case you can't tell, I am VERY passionate about this! I have lived a lot of my life in an unhealthy way, and I am committed to making the right steps and changes in my own life. I have currently lost 40lbs and can tell a HUGE difference in the everday tasks around the station as well as on the fire ground. I just wish I could impress this on the other less motivated members.

Thanks again. Feel free to keep throwing ideas this way, as I am sure this will be a long drawn out process of affecting change. And Rick, I promise that if I get this figured out, you will be the FIRST one to get a copy of the book! :)

Stay safe and Stay healthy! (I like that!)
Stephen, I was in the same boat as you...give me a call and I'll tell some things I did that helped a lot. One is an organization called "Fit To Fight" www.fittofight.us we are about to update the site with this years agenda...I'm in Atlanta Ga, 2 yrs ago some AZ guys came and did it w/ us and took the concept back out there. I joined them this past April to see their version, it was awesome!
Johnnny B., staying fit at 55...
My suggestion is that you should talk to your officers and chief and try starting a Health and Safety program and the mere fact that NFPA 1500 requires health and safety in the fire service.
I am sitting with the same problem. they dont want us to go to the gym during working hours even when we have agreed to pay for it ourselvs. and there is no budget to purchase eqiupment for the station. so all we get told to do is run run and run.
It seems, with most things, baby steps are the way to go. I suggest starting by getting a subscription to a publication like Men's Fitness and have it delivered to the station for all to read. There are a lot of low impact and "new to fitness" articles for those who currently do not exercise regulary. I believe everyone wants to be in shape, feel fit and be well....but may not know how to start. NFPA has set forth wellness standards and this may be a way to get grant money for equipment....Body weight exercises do not cost anything but time and effort...It has been my experience that if you can get a team member to committ to two weeks of on-duty training, their hooked...

Stay Well & Good Luck,
Chris Snider
Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Group Fitness Guy
& Karate Sensei
Our department all threw in money to a pot and the person that lost the most weight won the pot.
I like this idea! It's simple and it involves cash. I am in the process of trying to come up with a program and a way to motivate our rural fire dept members to care about their health. Any new ideas lately? I just happened to stumble upon this forum. Any success stories out there?
We've been fighting this same issue on our dept. Truth is it is hard to get guys off the couch and out to train and workout. I talked to the nearby college and worked out a plan that we could use their gym for free, and worked with a local gym that i use to get great discounts on the membership, and still they choose not to go. I recently talked with a tire shop and got a tire to flip and pull around while were in gear and on shift. Amazingly once I started working out with it the guys started to use it. We still have guys that are in serious need of getting healthy there are just more of us fighting the battle.

recently i posted a fitness post and have included charts

i've already had a heart attack if you have seen any of my article on fitness recently posted you will find some charts for carb and protein

these charts are general for health and weight loss If you are diabetic you need to consult with a dietitian to help you fine tune the diet for best results.

also organizing community heart walks. is a great way to get your guys and the community involved.

 a 2 or 3 mile a day walk does work wonders for everyone no matter what their age, and community participation is good pr for the company


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