Emergency Services Fitness: Get Fit to Save Lives
Goal: To ensure your safety and ability to perform your job in emergency services: a physically taxing profession.
Although we’re in the profession of protecting and helping the public, we too often neglect ourselves and our bodies. In order to provide the services we’re sworn to provide to the public, we need to understand the importance of being as physically fit as we can be in order able to perform our roles.
With this in mind, Todd Platner, an experienced Richmond, Ky firefighter and EMT who holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education/Adult Fitness has developed the Get Fit to Save Lives Fitness Guide for public safety professionals.
Working out Hurts
“To ignore your fitness is dangerous to you, your family and also your co-workers, not to mention those you serve,” says Platner. “We in the emergency services are often the victims of injuries and illnesses that we can avoid by keeping ourselves physically fit. Physical fitness isn’t about lifting the most weight at the gym or being able to compete in a 5K marathon with the fastest time. It’s about having the ability to expend energy to perform a task without overworking yourself needlessly. It’s about building your strength and endurance. It’s about using proper body mechanics to perform a task with the minimum amount of wear and tear on your body. It’s about building a better-prepared body—and it isn’t a difficult task to perform.”
But We Already Do Physical Stuff at Work!
Many of us who are not working out jump from sedentary (sitting in a patrol car/ambulance/firehouse barcalounger) to running, lifting, pushing/pulling/climbing, which can be taxing on your body, and potentially dangerous.
Get Fit to Fight Fire, EMS Fitness, and the law enforcement fitness guide Get Fit to Fight Crime, offer invaluable information on how to get fit and stay fit, while keeping in mind the specifics of what your job demands of your body.
The EMT-specific guide offers various exercises and injury-prevention tips geared toward emergency technicians. The Fire Fitness program is a resistance program designed to improve your total body strength and endurance. It is not a bodybuilding or a power-lifting program. It is designed to prepare firefighters specifically for the tasks of the job of firefighting by using lift, carry, push, pull, movements that are used on the fire seen and can be duplicated in exercise.
Is It Difficult?
Each guide coaches you through simple activities that allow you to minimize the risks of injuries caused by over extending your body. It gives you a guide for increasing your physical well-being, tracking your progress and asking yourself, “What variables do I need to consider in a fitness regimen?”
Application: Take steps to increase your physical fitness. You’ll feel better, be able to do your job better and reduce your likelihood of illness and injury!