By Chief Wade Watkins
On any given day within Riverton City, firefighters respond to the emergency needs of the community. This comes with the responsibility to perform under challenging conditions with no room for error. The sudden, intense energy demand of an emergency scene requires the fitness to perform methodically under stress while communicating effectively with a unified team.
Focusing on the safety of the community is what drives firefighters to stay physically and mentally fit for the challenge of the next emergency incident. Maintaining a strong aerobic capacity for the rigors of the everyday job is key, which can include running up stairs, climbing ladders and more. This is all while wearing up to 75 pounds of personal protective equipment (PPE), depending on the job.
That is exactly why the Unified Fire Authority embraces fitness and is continually looking for opportunities to improve the readiness of our firefighters. The importance of assessing our collective and individual capability is the key in targeting where we can improve. The pictures show Firefighter Micah Stratton performing his physical assessment. The fire ground skills exercised throughout this assessment are realistic functional tasks performed while wearing full gear and in succession to create a work cycle.
Preparing for the physicality of the assessment and more importantly the ability to be operationally ready is a continual endeavor. So, next time you see your local fire crews working out at the gym or running laps. Remind them to lift heavy, run far and stay ready for the next call. If you have interest in joining the team or would like to learn more, please check us out at unifiedfire.org/becoming-a-firefighter.
UFA Firefighter Micah Stratton performing a physical assessment.