Safety Group Challenges Unhealthy Firehouse Lifestyles – News

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This is a topic which has become more important to me recently. As I have realized that sitting around all day eating with little or no activity is not a good thing. Therefore, I have begun working out when I find the time. This usually consists of going to the downtown YMCA to do lift some weights and run on the treadmill. I have bought a trainer for my bike at work which I try to get some use out of here and there. In my department, only a couple of stations have state of the art (translation – usable) equipment. My station is not one of them. From what I have heard, we are waiting on grant money for more equipment and my station is next in line. Some of our stations have pretty decent equipment. It is good to see the department making a conserted effort to help us.

The idea of a workout regiment or exercise policy would probably scare the hell out of a lot of firemen. Anytime you tell firemen that they have to do something they are not going to like it. However, if you incorporate a reward system you will gain many supporters.

Safety Group Challenges Unhealthy Firehouse Lifestyles – News:

North Jersey Media Group :: The Record

For firefighters, it’s a fact of life — and death.

Every year in the United States, about 100 firefighters die in the line of duty, but most aren’t killed by smoke, flames or collapsing buildings.

They die from heart attacks.

In New Jersey, 80 percent of firefighter deaths since 2004 have been linked to heart attacks.

Dashing into a burning building and up six flights of stairs lugging 60 pounds of gear is a severe test for even a young firefighter in top condition. But for an older firefighter who is out of shape and hasn’t seen a doctor in years, that dash up the stairs could be the ticket to an early death.

Despite the danger, recent studies have shown that fire departments in New Jersey do little to promote health and fitness among members. Few require annual physicals — firefighters cite prohibitive costs and fears that poor results could thwart careers — or offer even simple fitness equipment like treadmills and weights.

“For a firefighter, there is enormous stress on the heart,” said Maggie Wilson, health and safety coordinator for the National Volunteer Fire Council, a Washington, D.C., lobbying group. “It’s 2:30 in the morning and the firefighter is fast asleep when the alarm goes off. He goes from being in a deep sleep to rushing off to fight a fire. That requires a tremendous surge of adrenaline. If a firefighter’s blood pressure is 200 over 120 and he doesn’t know it, he’s in deep trouble.(Read More)

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