Monday, April 15, 2013

Milwaukee FD In the News

This short news feature caught my eye.

On the one hand, as a citizen of the city (or any municipality), you might say, “That’s impressive.” But then again, “What’s taken us so long?”

It’s 2013. By some accounts, the fitness movement in this country peaked around 1979- based upon survey data from the general population. I can tell you that there appeared to be a great awakening within the fire service for the need for physical fitness during the 1970’s.

I was in constant demand as a speaker at conferences across the country. My company was contracted to prepare instructional materials, implement pilot programs and conduct Fitness Coordinator training certification. We conducted over 100, 40-hour programs. And then, like a lot initiatives in the fire service, it petered out.

A couple of years ago, I attended the educational sessions associated with the Congressional Fire Service Institute in Washington, D.C. The topic of discussion was the 16 initiatives for the “Everyone Goes Home” program. I listened incredulously to some fire chiefs who were pleading ignorance on how to get their departments physically fit. Really? Is it that hard.

All of this validates my theory that fitness is not a priority. Take a look at the recruit classes. Are these people really the best we can muster? If fitness was a priority, we’d hire the best. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that my eyes are deceiving me.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is difficult to get firefighters to begin fitness programs. I tried to use their lack of fitness as a motive during a recent training meeting. I had them do relatively simple tasks with full turnout gear, breathing air and out of eight, only two passed. The result was some of the firefighters who failed decided at that point, to make a drastic lifestyle change because they were angry at their failure. Sadly, the lifestyle change did not last very long, but I still try to encourage them at every opportunity.
Donny Leonard Sr.