Firefighters Get Physical Training with a Little Help from a Frien

In early April 2010, several members of a volunteer fire station sat in the dayroom discussing getting in shape. Cardiac-related incidents are among the leading causes of firefighter deaths in the United States. Over the past two decades, statistics show that 50 percent of firefighter fatalities are attributed to poor health conditions. A small group of volunteers began meeting at the fire station three times a week to workout with station-provided free weights.

The number of members participating in the workouts increased rapidly, and the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad’s leadership took note of their commitment. Michael Burrier, Volunteer Chief at the station located in North College Park, Maryland, mentioned this effort to a friend who is a personal trainer. Aaron Foster, a firefighter and National Registered Emergency Medical Technician with the District of Columbia, offered to come to the workout sessions and design a program specific to the needs of firefighters. Foster is a well-qualified fitness trainer for recruit members of the District’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department. 

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