Culture of Fitness

As members of the fire service we are all competitive at some level. We have spent time fine tuning our physical and mental skills to compete for our jobs and in some departments we are tested at some interval to ensure continued proficiency. I guess the point is that, when job hunting, we all realized that an exceptional level of fitness was a requirement for this job so we worked hard to achieve that level and maintain it in the event we were put to the test. After probation some of us kept on honing our physical performance and some of didn’t. What I propose is a in-station challenge or physical abilities test, a compilation of movements or activities that are specific to the facility. So if you have a truck you might include some fire ground skills and feats of strength related to rolling over and going back to sleep when the quick call goes off. Or if you ride a rescue you might focus on shoring a trench in a dry suit while yelling “slack on main”… In all seriousness the “Feats of Strength” for your station should be focused more on athletic ability than job task, I would rather not see 110′ aerial climbs to failure , but they should include things that play to the “bread and butter” of your response area so that they are relevant to the job. Again if you are a truckie one of the feats may be a single person 35′ ladder raise and a record time on the Kaiser sled. The important thing is that there is something that highlights the strengths and something that highlights the weaknesses of everyone on the shift to ensure maximal buy in.

Here are a few ideas:

Stand in the apparatus bay near the door “close” button. Push the button and sprint out and back a predetermined distance before the door closes. (distance will depend on several factors i.e. door hight, speed , slope etc.)

High shoulder carry a 35′ ladder a given distance in a given time

Holding the end of a 8lb sledge-hammer with a fully extended arm, bend at the wrist until the head of the hammer touches your forehead, return to the starting position and repeat for a given number of reps.

These are just a few options and you can really do whatever fires your jets, just keep them safe, varied, pertinent, and fun. If you already have something like this going please post it in the comments so that others can borrow your ideas.

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