Wellness & Fitness
Fire fighters die from cardiac problems at the rate of three times greater than the general population, in addition to suffering twice as many on the job injuries. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that every year approximately 50% of fire fighters that die in the line of duty die from a stress related heart attacks at the average age of 42.
Studies found that there was a direct correlation between strength and endurance in accomplishing the physical tasks of a fire fighters’ occupation and found that physically fit fire fighters were twice as efficient in completing a series of fire ground tasks as their less fit coworkers. The physical effects of fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing are one-third greater than that of an individual wearing gym clothes.
The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that 30% of fire fighter cardiac deaths occur during fire fighting activities, which increases a fire fighter’s chance of dying while fighting a fire 100 times more than doing every day activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 70% of heart disease fatalities are preventable through lifestyle changes.
The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department has instituted a comprehensive wellness / fitness program including pre-employment and annual medical and fitness evaluations and mandatory on-duty fitness training.
Many of the firefighters incorporate CrossFit, a program of constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements, into their fitness regime. CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
Firefighter Wellness & Fitness Websites: