Friday, April 20, 2012

Train like your life depends on it... because it does!

My blog posts are almost always related to promoting physical fitness or reports of my racing endeavors; that's why you come back and check up, right?  Today I was disheartened and quite frankly, upset.  I got one of those emails again.  I subscribe to the Line of Duty Deaths (LODD) email list.  Whenever a firefighter dies on duty or has a duty related death, an investigation takes place and an email is sent out for the purpose of general information and community awareness.  I always cringe when I see one these emails at my inbox; I know what's inside.  I have gotten 32 of these emails this year and more than 4 this month alone! Look at the list of LODD here.
Attention ALL Firefighters: We've lost 3 firefighters this MONTH due to heart attacks and 1 due to a "medical emergency" It's time to make a change! 

Make it a PRIORITY to do ONE THING every day, or at least every shift, to better your health. I'm tired of seeing "Heart Attack"  "Stress/Overexertion" and "Medical Emergency" as a reason for a LODD; yet it is, and has consistently been, the number 1 cause of firefighter fatalities. While this may offend many, a heart attack is NOT a noble way for a firefighter to die in the line of duty.  I can understand, yet not accept, a motor vehicle accident.  I can understand, yet not accept, entering a known vacant building for an offensive attack on a fire that has been free for more than the 5 minutes it took us to respond.  But I do not understand nor do I accept the mindset where we put physical fitness on a shelf and dust it off once or twice a year for an ability test that is set to sub par standards when compared to what new fire recruits are expected to do in order to pass an academy!

If its predictable, then its preventable. Proper preventative planning prevents piss poor performance.

Officers and Leaders - YOU set the bar for your firefighters! You want them to preform in a specific manner on a fire scene, you expect them to do a task when assigned or in many cases, multiple tasks - they look to YOU for guidance and rely on your experience and knowledge to make safe decisions. Lead from the front! Schedule opportunities for your crews to participate in some level of physical fitness EVERY SHIFT.

"We don't have time" is a VERY POOR EXCUSE. What we don't have time for is a funeral! 

We are short staffed with a regular increase in call volume - we are doing more with less. I get it! But with this trend of "doing more with less" we are put in the position where physical fitness is even more important! The fire ground, 2 air bottle policy, still stands even after we increase the capacity of our bottles.

Physical fitness is company officer level training! We don't need admin to set the guidelines. Use the resources at hand; your crew can pick a team based workout, find workout plans on the internet or *insert expletive of choice* CALL ME! I try to post regular workouts Here on Facebook, I'll post them to a blog, I'll send you an email or a text message (yes, even if I don't know you - NO, I'm not going to charge you!) We don't have to be on our feet all day, but we do need to take time to promote firefighter specific workouts!   I would even support a regular table top approach to understanding the metabolic expenditures we face during a fire and HOW we should approach nutritional choices on shift and during/after a fire.  Pizza and donuts and a drink that's spiked with high fructose corn syrup is NOT an appropriate option.

Firefighters - Don't piss and moan or mock our Officers when we see them starting to implement physical fitness into our schedule. They are doing it to protect our citizens, each other and most importantly, YOU! They are taking initiative and leading from the front. Support them! Encourage them! Thank them!

Career or Volunteer status does not make a difference - we ALL have the same responsibilities when called upon by our citizens. We ALL have the same responsibility to each other and to our families - To protect each other and then to GO HOME after the call or at the end of your shift! 


Firefighter Fitness doesn't happen overnight - commit to this job and commit to this lifestyle!

No more LODD's - Everyone Goes Home!

Please, Share. More importantly, Please Implement!

*** As a follow up to this post, I have a new website specifically setup to post Workouts for Firefighters.  Visit the link below - the site is free, no advertisements and mobile friendly.

The Black Shift WOD (workout of the day) is dedicated to providing regular workouts that can be preformed by firefighters while on duty or in the station using equipment typically found in house.

1 comment:

David Haas said...

I have a question about your blog, do you think you could email me?