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An Interagency Wildland Firefighter Fitness Program Michelle Ryerson – BLM, National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, ID Bequi Livingston – USFS, Region 3, Albuquerque, NM. ?. What is “FireFit”?. Sponsored by the Federal Fire and Aviation Safety Team (FFAST).
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An Interagency Wildland Firefighter Fitness Program Michelle Ryerson – BLM, National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, ID Bequi Livingston – USFS, Region 3, Albuquerque, NM
? What is “FireFit”? • Sponsored by the Federal Fire and Aviation Safety Team (FFAST). • Task Group representing fire suppression resources created FireFit. • A comprehensive, easy-to-follow (non-mandatory) fitness program designed specifically for the interagency wildland firefighter.
How “FireFit” Works: • Incorporates three modules: • Pre-Season fitness • Fire-Season fitness • Post-Season fitness • Provides a basic fitness program framework that: • will enable the wildland firefighter to develop a balanced and consistent fitness program. • incorporates all the essential components of fitness including ‘mental fitness’. • can augment already existing fitness programs established.
Overall Objectives of “FireFit” • Improving firefighter safety • Improving firefighter health • Reducing/mitigating injuries • Promotes wellness
Fitness defined:“the body’s ability to perform physical activity without distress or injury.”
According to Dr. Brian Sharkey in his book, “Fitness and Work Capacity - 2nd edition”: “Our studies have shown that muscular fitness is highly related to performance of the tasks involved in wildland firefighting. Firefighters with more strength and muscular endurance are better able to carry the loads and use the tools than those with lower levels.”
Components of “FireFit” • Cardiovascular Fitness • Muscle Strength/Endurance • Flexibility/Stretching • Mental Fitness • Rest and Relaxation
Pre-Season “FireFit” Module • Module consists of 8 weeks total: • 6 weeks ‘ramping up’ and • 2 weeks transition to fire season module • Focus areas: • Beginning with building muscle strength with moderate cardiovascular component. • Later transition on muscle endurance with increased cardiovascular component. • This module introduces the concept of ‘mental fitness’ in preparation for fire season. • Flexibility will continue to be an integral focus during all modules. • Rest and Relaxation is recommended during all modules.
“FireFit” Pre-Season Fitness Module – Workout Template (weeks 7-8) (final 2 week transition to ‘fire season’ module)
Fire-Season “FireFit” Module • Fire-Season Module consists of: • 24 weeks total during fire season • Sustaining the fitness levels established during the pre-season module • Team (crew) building exercises and activities • ‘Mental fitness’ will continue to be a key component. • Rest and Relaxation is especially critical during this module to mitigate fatigue and stress management. • Fitness levels should be optimal at this point to maximize job performance, provide fatigue countermeasures, and provide injury prevention and mitigation.
“FireFit” Fire Season Fitness Module – Workout Template ( 24 weeks) ** Cross training and variety will be the important thing here as well as team building exercises
Post-Season “FireFit” Module • Post-Season Module consists of: • 20 weeks of training with: • 2 weeks of rest with minimal activity and • 18 weeks of baseline fitness • A transition from the fire season program to allow time for rest and recuperation, and injury rehabilitation. • A transition in order to develop and maintain a baseline fitness level. • Module is designed to focus flexibility and cross training (activities that are fun and enjoyable). • Primary phase to begin preparing the mind and body for the transition to the pre-season fitness module and eventually – fire season.
“FireFit” (rest/recuperation, maintenance program) Post-Season Fitness Module – Workout Template (18 weeks) First 2 weeks should be spent allowing the body to rest and recover before transitioning into the post-season program
Other Components of “FireFit” • Developing a good ‘goal statement’ • Injury mitigation and prevention • Recommended exercises & alternatives • Wellness • Team building • Fitness Assessments • Terminology • Recommended websites & reading
THANK YOU! “FireFit” Website available May 1st, 2006 Go To: www.nifc.gov Anima Sana In Corpore Sano “A sound mind rests in a sound body”- ASICS Quote