Health and fitness, particularly in the fire service, are serious issues. A sedentary lifestyle not only threatens a firefighter’s ability to do their job, it also sends the wrong message to the community. Jeff and Martha Ellis discuss the long-lasting effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and offer steps to take when trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Using a near-miss report as an example, Chief Bill Halmich highlights how each piece of the puzzle affects the overall incident and underscores the needs to train not only on specific tactics but also on related activities so firefighters better understand the integrated nature of the fireground.
Jeff and Martha Ellis discuss a recent study involving firefighters from San Diego that most notably found that those with existing back pain/injury were unable to maintain their target test times during the back extension endurance test. This indicates that those with less lower back muscle endurance could be more likely to suffer future back pain and injury. To avoid this, Jeff and Martha suggest performing three main exercise groups that can help strengthen low back muscles: yoga, core lifts and workouts with an exercise ball.
The decision to switch from offensive to defensive tactics can be a smooth one, but the IC must stay focused on processing the information from inside the structure and then cross-referencing it what their own senses and instincts are telling them.