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Each year, tens of thousands of Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics are injured while fighting fires, responding to incidents, transporting patients and training for the job. While a majority of the injuries are minor, a significant number are debilitating and career-ending. Of these debilitating injuries almost 50% have to do with low back pain and a recent survey by the International Association of Fire Fighters determined that about half of all injury retirements were due to back injuries. The high rate of low back injuries can be attributed to the high-risk activities that we are expected to perform, such as operating charged hoselines, climbing ladders, breaking windows, ventilating structures, performing overhaul and lifting objects greater than 40 lbs. As you know, these tasks are often accomplished while the body’s posture is ergonomically unsound or on unstable ground.I know I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but I do want…Read More
As a firefighter (paramedic and emt included), you train to mitigate the risks that you are sure to face on the job. Your fitness cannot be a liability, it must be on par with the skills you have spent so much time learning. Like an athlete, you must be game ready at all times. What does it mean to be game ready as a firefighter? To be ready, you must be training like a firefighter. I see too many firefighters training like bodybuilders or like the athletes that they may have been in high school or college. You can’t train like a triathlete to play football nor train like a football player to play hockey. Training like a firefighter requires that you train in a way to specifically address the physical requirements of the job. That means working to acquire extreme levels of cardio vascular, muscular and metabolic endurance. You need the…Read More
Train like your life depends on it…because it does. I’m sure you’ve heard that slogan before either at a seminar or around the firehouse. What exactly does it mean? In the context of this website we (I) mean that every fireifghter, emt, and paramedic should look at their level of fitness as another tool like an axe, ladder or IV for that matter. Your level of fitness can have a huge impact on the outcome of an accident or scene (fireground or other). The fire rescue business is not based on individual efforts, its the controlled and coordinated effort of a crew. Each person of the crew has a specific task that must be completed. In most of these cases failure of a task could lead to injury or possibly death. Your level of fitness determines of efficiently and effectively that task is carried out. Now I ask you…are you…Read More