Part of the requirements of firefighter’s job to ensure their personal safety and that of their constituents, is to stay in good health and physical shape. With shifts that are long on hours and a station limited on space, Creston firefighters have come up with a workout program that not only meets their needs, but can be done at any time using equipment on hand that they regularly use on the job.
“Firefighting is a very, very, very labor intensive job. It’s much easier to do when you’re in shape,” said Casey Carpenter, Creston firefighter.
Currently, Creston’s fire station has a weight bench and an elliptical arriving soon, but with space limitations, the department turned to the internet to see what other departments across the United States were doing to stay in shape. That is when Creston firefighters discovered 555 Fitness.
Carpenter said the numbers 555 represent the five strikings of a bell at firefighter funerals. The goal of 555 Fitness is to provide free workout information for firefighters in an effort to reduce firefighter line of duty deaths.
According to the group’s Facebook page, historically, 50 percent of firefighter deaths while on duty are attributed to cardiac events.
Carpenter said the workout is easy for them to complete, as it takes two minutes for them to set up the equipment, and each station is done in 45 second intervals, with 30 second breaks in between, for a total of 20 minutes.
“Basically it’s all fire fighter movements, and we use all the equipment in the station,” said Carpenter.
During their workouts, firefighters substitute ropes with hoses. To simulate dragging victims, Carpenter said they built skids, which allows them to drag weights back and forth. The rear bumper of a fire truck, which is two-and-a-half feet from the ground, enables the firefighters to do step up or stair climbing motions. For grip strength, a 5-gallon bucket of foam is carried to simulate a “farmer’s carry.” To build upper body strength needed for creating roof ventilation, firefighters strike a tire with a sledge hammer.
“All the stations are comprised of something that would happen on a fire scene,” said Carpenter.
Carpenter said some firefighters work out as a group, but the accessibility of the equipment is nice.
Acessibility of information is something 555 Fitness is hoping will help more firefighters and those they serve.
“Our goal is to provide workouts, recipes and fitness equipment in the hope that more firefighters will participate in working out and eating better, therefore reducing line of duty deaths, period,” said 555 Fitness in a statement on their Facebook page. “We believe that when easy to follow information is provided, the likelihood that more firefighters will participate increases dramatically.”