Health and Safety
The Tactical Athlete
By Fred Mohr NASM-PT
Captain Elizabeth Fire Department New Jersey Local 209
A recent study in Boston found that among new recruits for fire and EMS services, only 22% were at a healthy weight, while 44% were overweight and 33% were obese. That means that three out of every four recruits were above their recommended healthy weight. And these statistics aren’t limited to the young. Three-quarters of active emergency responders nationwide are overweight or obese. Additionally, 75% have been classified as hypertensive or pre-hypertensive.
Strains and sprains account for 48% of fireground injuries, which can be a result from being in a deconditioned state. Wearing turnout gear with SCBA and a helmet puts a stress on the body. Compound that with working in less than optimal conditions and the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles of the body can suffer harm easily.