Former NFL tight end Erron Kinney is a captain with the Williamson County (TN) Rescue Squad, a firefighter with the Brentwood (TN) Fire and Rescue, and a commander on the Tennessee State Fire Commission on Education and Personal Standards. His class “Job-Specific Physical Conditioning” attempted to motivate attendees to focus on increased physical conditioning, health and, ultimately, quality of life. Kinney cited the fact that approximately 50 percent of all line-of-duty deaths are from overexertion and stress, and how recent studies show that firefighters have a 300 percent greater risk for heart disease. He also stated that even perfectly healthy firefighters are dying from sudden cardiac events.
The former Tennessee Titan talked about his own experiences at the NFL combine workouts and his relationship with his first strength and conditioning coach. He included in his lecture positive examples of the health improvments of firefighter groups that followed his cooking and exercise tips He also emphasized the need for physical fitness to avoid “being that weak link in the chain.”
“We need to view the fire service like a professional sport and aim to develop conditioning programs that directly enhance job performance and skills…poor health and fitness is not a new problem in the fire service. My class provided attendees with knowledge and resources to become fit for duty.”
Kinney stated, “We explored The Art of Strength and the Punch Kettle Bell fitness systems, which use proven techniques to increase strength, stamina, flexibility, and cardiac threshold and can be tailored specifically to firefighting activities. Be persistent, don’t give up. One day your life is going to depend on it. Remember, you are the most important tool in the tool box.”