So ladies (and gents) I'm hoping you can help me out. I am currently a paramedic and am going to the fire academy in August. I am in fair shape, I was a gymnast until about 2 years ago. I have been going to the gym and starting to get my fitness back up but I am still really worried about the academy. Any tips or advice? I work hard but anything to help me through would be so much appreciated.

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Upper body strength is very important for all the lifting of ladders (and bodies) and dragging of hose.  If you're a  paramedic, your head is already in the game and this will just be a new skill set.  Don't be nervous.  stay true to yourself.  Don't try to show off or let certain people goad you.... although there will be a lot of good hearted ribbing.... just the nature of the fire service. I'm sure you'll do great!  Best of Luck!  Enjoy it!~

Thank you. All of my internship for EMT and paramedic was with the fire service so I am well aware of how things work and how the guys are. It's not a problem. 3 big brothers prepared me well. I've been focusing on core and upper body and some legs but mostly relying on running and stair climbs for my leg workouts.

Consider a weight vest and ankle weights when doing the stair climbs.  Get use to the added weight as you will carry up to 70 pounds of tools and PPE during training exercises and in high-rise firefighting.  The psychological impact of all that added weight and the knowledge that you must climb 20 to 30 flights of stairs -- or more, is daunting.  You can reduce that psychological stress by preparing yourself for it now, and you'll be well ahead of the game.  

Please forgive this obvious plug, but I made a documentary a few years back that followed a group of men and women on their journey to become firefighters.  We had several women in the group and one man in his 40's.  The film is a real eye opener and I encourage anyone considering a career in firefighting to see it (of course I would)  :)  But honestly, your question, and many like it, is the reason the film was made.  You can see a clip of the film on youtube: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skr6dnxaqiw

or watch the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv6JxE9efeE

I have just released an iPhone app for the film as well, it's called:  A Firefighter's Journey

Also, upper body strength is very important, but just as important is learning how to use leverage.  Using your own body weight to push, pull and drag is a skill, that when mastered, will make all the difference in the world.

How is academy????? 

Hi. I was 2 weeks from starting when the school said that they were tripling my tuition for some crazy bullshit reason. So I had to drop out. I am looking at the school I went to for EMT-B for the academy at the beginning of the year.

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