Monday, June 8, 2009

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (Sound Mind in a Sound Body)

Today, the fire crew of which I am a part, participated in the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge. The plan is to use this program to encourage our firefighters to maintain year round fitness. By testing them today, we were able to see who had stayed in good shape and who needs work. It set a baseline standard that everyone can work from to improve their personal fitness. Countless studies have shown that fit and healthy firefighters tend to be injured less during their careers.

The challenge that we face each year with a program made up of over 30 seasonal firefighters, is that you cannot make them stay fit during the offseason. That is where we look to the fitness challenge along with a cash incentive for Gold and Platinum level participants; to show the importance of year round fitness. For many of these firefighters, it is only their third week of work and already we are testing their physical and mental strength. As a matter of fact, on only the second day of work for many of them, I lead the crew on a 9 mile run consisting of 7 miles of hill repeats. The idea is not to break them, or to show how fit we are as leaders. It's let them know how important it is to maintain their fitness and how high the expectations are for our crews.

So, today we tested 39 of 41 firefighters. The results were overwhelmingly positive. There were six men that scored in the Gold range and nearly a dozen more firefighters that scored above the Silver level. Our entire program averaged 234 points, which is commendable. We will test at least once more before the results are due at the national office at the end of the month. Everyone knows now where their weakness lies. For me, it is upper body strength. I spend so much time focusing on the run, the bike, and the swim, that I let my muscular strength fall by the wayside. I know this is where I need to focus and come next time, maybe a little more than my run will be doing the talking.


Benson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benson said...

Sorry my first attempt to comment was wacked out.

Wow man, that is great.
Good job to all you guys.
I'm always humbled by the things you firefighters have to do and go through as your job (volunteer or otherwise).
Keep it up.
Now hit those weights.

chris mcpeake said...

Great job. Dont know how you do what you do for a living. Hats off to you

RunnerDude said...

What a great idea! I think cities should implement a similar program for all it's citizens! Sure would be a proactive way to keep health costs down. Maybe I should give Obama a call. LOL! Great post!