Firefighters need to maintain peak physical condition in order to perform their very best at any moment. Firefighters need to have the ability to call forth the sudden, intense energy they need in order to fight a fire at a moment’s notice.
The latest group of fire recruits with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services go through an extensive fitness program to get them into shape to become firefighters. The fire recruits exercise with their turnout gear on while wearing their breathing apparatus. Fire Investigator, Megan Hamilton, was assisting with the exercises today at the Fire Training Center. “We are trying to get them comfortable with being uncomfortable by letting them feel the heat while wearing their gear,” stated Hamilton. Wearing the gear can also help the recruits get use to feeling the weight of their equipment. The recruits run through several different components of the course including crawling through a small tunnel, climbing over barriers and using sledgehammers to simulate breaking through sheet rock. The recruits also pull and flip tires to build muscle in their arms and legs.
The fire recruits will drink approximately two gallons of water while participating in the exercises and some of the recruits have already lost approximately 20 to 25 pounds of weight, too. The recruits go through the exercise program every day for approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. Hamilton also said the fire recruits will lose a lot more weight in the next few weeks because they have just “amped” up everything.
“It’s teamwork and they have to motivate each other, keep each other accountable and watch out for each other, too,” added Hamilton.