Gauging Fireground Fitness

Being a firefighter is a physically demanding job. With hauling heavy equipment and sustaining extreme temperatures and conditions, firefighters have to be physically fit to do their jobs. However, to be fit for fire rescue requires more than just being able to lift heavy objects. In addition, they must also have good muscular endurance, a great core and grip strength, and the ability to recover quickly, says Fire Rescue Magazine. Therefore, let us take a closer look at how your clients can gauge their crew’s level of fitness to promote safety on the job. In addition, ensure their operation is protected with a Firefighter Insurance Program.

According to the article, there are really two aspects to job performance when it comes to being a fit firefighter. There is the skill aspect—being able to efficiently force doors, cut roofs, raise ladders and drag heavy objects. Then there are other fitness factors, such as strength and power, that will determine your potential skills. Here are a few ways to test them out.

#1: Functional Mobility- Wall Squat.

Test the limitations of the back, ankles and hips with this exercise, especially as men tend to be less flexible and more stiff in these areas. Remember, working out at the gym and building muscle often reduces mobility and flexibility by reducing the range of motion. If crew members cannot complete it without full control, they should practice daily.

#2: Power- Standing Broad Jump.

The further one can jump from a standstill indicates just how much power their bodies are capable of producing. Ideally, the crew members will be able to jump 7+ feet at once.

#3: Muscle Strength and Endurance- Deadlift Curl to Press.

Endurance is a must for firefighters. An aggressive interior fire attack, scaling a ladder with heavy equipment and tools to ventilate a roof, lifting or dragging an unconscious victim all require a high level of both strength and anaerobic endurance. Anaerobic endurance refers to your ability to work at near-maximal intensity in bursts in sub-minute bursts. The more efficiently you utilize oxygen, the more effective you can be on the fire ground, says the article. Ideally, 20 or more reps in one minute is the goal.

#4: Core Strength- Plank.

This exercise will determine how strong the core is. It’s more than just strong abs- these muscle groups support the spine, pelvis, and torso. The goal is to achieve a plank for 3+ minutes.

#5: Endurance- 1.5 Mile Run.

Aerobic endurance is equally important for firefighters. This distance should be completed within 10:30 minutes.

At Provident Fire Plus, we understand the risks that emergency service organizations face on a regular basis. Our unique underwriting goes beyond what is typically included in these policies, extending coverage to pollution, liquor liability, medical payments, and more. For more information about our comprehensive policies and how we can work for your clients, contact us today at (855) 201-8880.