Monday, November 19, 2012

FireFit: Wildland Fire Fitness Assessment Battery

"Work capacity is the employee's ability to accomplish production goals without undue fatigue, and without becoming a hazard to oneself or coworkers. It is a complex composite of aerobic and muscular fitness, natural abilities, intelligence, skill, experience, acclimatization, nutrition, and...motivation. For prolonged arduous work, fitness is the most important determinant of work capacity." ~ Brian Sharkey, Fitness and Work Capacity, 1997, p. 1

As part of our look at being "fit" for command, we share with you a brief look into the Wildland Fire Fitness Assessment Battery (WFAB). Bequi Livingston, USFS - Region 3, Regional Fire Operations Health and Safety Specialist, and Dr. Katie Sell, CSCS, Hofstra University, address fitness assessments and associated safety precautions related to the assessments related to the assessments.

Check out the video highlights below. Watch the video for more information about the assessments and safety precautions when conducting the assessments.

Benefits of Conducting Physical Fitness Assessments
  • Increases the likelihood of a fitness program being able to achieve the desired fitness improvements or maintenance of current fitness.
  • Provide valuable information on current fitness status and identify weaknesses in overall fitness.
  • Serve as baseline scores or can be used to monitor progress through an exercise program.
Safety Precautions
  • See a physician to obtain agency and medical clearance, and adhere to agency guidelines.
  • Obtain the correct attire and footwear appropriate for exercise.
  • Warm-up and cool-down appropriately prior to, and following, any assessment or exercise.
  • Get educated on the appropriate tests or exercises for you!
  • Ensure that participants are briefed completely on the WFAB process and prepared.
  • Encourage hydration before, during, and after the workout.
  • If a participant feels ill or injured during the testing, have them stop the test until evaluated.
The Assessments
  • Body Composition
  • Flexibility
  • Musculoskeletal Power
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Muscular Strength
  • Aerobic Fitness
  • Core Fitness
For more information about the assessments, consult the FireFit website.

Thanks to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, Bequi Livingston, Dr. Katie Sell, Kristen Manganini, Josh Sandman, FireFit Task Group, US Forest Service/NIFC, and the Sacramento Hotshot Crew for this contribution.

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