Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Are you FireFit?

"The wildland fire service approach to taking care of people encompasses mind, body, and spirit." ~ Leading in the Wildland Fire Service

Fitness for Command
(Leading in the Wildland Fire Service,  pp. 61-62)

Our position as leaders requires us to take people into unpredictable situations where mediocre leaders can be quickly overwhelmed in a crisis and make dangerous errors in judgment.

We accept the responsibility to demonstrate fitness for command as leaders in the wildland fire service. Fire leaders prepare for command by learning the applicable technical and leadership skills, by gaining the requisite expereince, and by developing the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities through training, certification, and evaluation of behavior.

 What is FireFit?
 The Firefit program "is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow, non-mandatory fitness program specifically designed for wildland firefighters.

Who Developed FireFit?
The FireFit program was developed by Michelle Ryerson, Bequi Livingston, and the FireFit Task Group to promote optimal fitness and decrease the number of injuries each fire season.

You and FireFit
In the weeks ahead, we'll take a look into the FireFit program. Check out the following video:

Video Highlights (See the video for specifics)
  • How to be FireFit
    • Being FireFit starts with proper nutrition and a regular exercise routine.
    • Before you begin any fitness program, it is important to remember four things:
      • See a physician to obtain agency medical clearance and adhere to agency guidelines.
      • Establish goals and make the commitment.
      • Get educated.
      • Have appropriate attire and footwear.
  • FireFit Basis
    • Dynamic Warm-Up
      • Arm circles
      • Torso twists
      • Knee li
      • fts
      • Kangaroo hops
      • Skipping
    • Cardiovascular Endurance
      • Biking
      • Running
      • Pack hiking
      • Jump rope
    • Core Stability
      • Front plank
      • Oblique crunches
      • Classic crunches
      • Abdominal Bracing
      • Yoga 
        •  Bird-dog
        • Superman
    • Muscles Strength and Endurance
      • Pull-ups
      • Push-ups
      • Lunges
      • Tricep dips
      • Shrugs
      • Seated row
      • Dumbell front squat
      • Hamstring curls
    • Flexibility
      • Downward facing dog
      • Cobra
      • Arm stretching
      • Leg stretching
  • Modular Training Exercises
    • Pre-season Training
      • Be sure to allow your body plenty of rest and recovery time while building your strength and endurance.
      • Begin with 8 weeks of moderate cardiovascular exercise and moderate strength training. Gradually increase the intensity of your workout each week.
    • Fire-Season Fitness
      • Focus on maintaining your fitness levels during this time.
      • Exercise five days a week.
      • Resting is important for your body to recover and will prevent fatigue.
    • Post-Season Training
      • After fire season has ended, focus on letting your body recover from fire season and rehab from any injuries.
      • Participate in a variety of fun physical activities to keep your fitness level up and your stress level down.
        • Fun activities such as skiing and snowboarding are great high-intensity workouts that not only maintain muscle and core strength but also build mental fitness and teamwork.
  • Exercise Tips:
    • Breathe through your exercises
    • Include abdominal bracing with exercises to engage muscles and support the lower back.
    • Ensure for muscle balance by incorporating all core muscles equally.Always  make time for rest and relaxation.
    • Always stay hydrated.
    • Maintain a balanced diet year-round.
Thanks to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center and the FireFit Task Group under Risk Management Committee (formerly the Safety and Health Working Team) for this contribution. 

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