Understanding policy and procedure: A must for station design

A synergetic relationship between policy and design are extremely important in the layout of Fire Stations. The article will address this relationship and the effects on the long-term health of the firefighters that live and work there.

Firefighter fitness: A functional approach

The fireground demands work capacity – plain and simple. There’s no app for forcing doors, advancing hose lines, or hooking ceiling. Achieving optimal work capacity is dependent on your functional training, which must be dynamic, comprehensive, and built for performance.

Firefighters pride themselves on their strategies, tactics, and skills. But when it really comes down to it, being “fit for duty” is the true foundation of every successful firefighter. You may be a tactical fireground expert, but if you are exhausted after climbing a few flights of stairs in full personal protective equipment, then it is time to take an honest look in the mirror and make some changes.

The realities of firefighting and mental health

In June, the London Fire Brigade responded to one of the most tragic incidents the international fire service has witnessed in years. In the middle of the night, some 40 apparatus and hundreds of firefighters descended upon a 24-story apartment…

An unfair hand

Most of us enter the fire service knowing that danger and risk are inherent parts of the job. We know that we will be exposed to heat, smoke, and flame, but many do not realize the hidden dangers that we face far away from the fireground.

Becoming a firefighter is a choice. But it is a choice that comes with a requirement to fully commit to the higher standards that come with the profession, regardless of whether you are paid or volunteer. As David J. Soler shares in the book Firefighter Functional Fitness, “The deck of cards is stacked against firefighters and their health. When we took the firefighter oath, we never knew that our life expectancy would automatically be reduced by the hazards that confront us. Take your pick: Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, inhalation hazards, dehydration, overexertion, heat stress, sleep deprivation and disorders, traumatic and thermal injuries, psychological and emotional stress, PTSD, infectious disease, physical assault…. On and on, the list of hazards and ‘career side effects’ continues with almost no end in sight.”1  

Firefighter mental health, resiliency, and ensuring you are mentally fit

PTSD. This acronym, slight and neat, has wreaked havoc upon those it afflicts. “I thought I was stronger than this”. This small, world-destroying statement is not something that is uncommon to hear. Due to the strong “hero” image within the…

Train the brain: Clean gear could save lives

The grim statistics don’t lie: 68% of all firefighters develop cancer. These heroes use their education and training to assess dangerous situations and make split decisions that save lives, but are we overlooking critical education that could save theirs? To…

Firehouses – Can they breed a change in behavioral health?

As a retired fire captain from the suburbs of Chicago, a licensed counselor and founder of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) I say absolutely! Why do I believe this? Because these are my brothers and sisters, men and women who…

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