Physical fitness for firefighters means the ability to perform their daily tasks with energy, vitality, and alertness, without unwarranted fatigue and with still enough energy to enjoy leisure time, but at the same time able to meet unforeseen emergencies. The element of the physical fitness for firefighters are composed of the following: a) cardiovascular fitness which pertains to the capability of the heart and lungs to supply the working muscles with enough amounts of oxygen and fuel during endurance activities that last for more than five minutes.
Regular practice of swimming, running and bicycling improves cardiovascular fitness; b) muscle strength – this is the measure of the maximum amount of force a muscle can put on. Developing muscular strength helps prevent injuries to the muscles and make bones and tendons stronger; c) muscular endurance – is the muscles’ ability to repeatedly lift certain amount of weight without rest, thereby allowing muscles to do a task for a longer period of time before the muscles get tired.
Poor endurance of the back and abdominal muscles can caused lower back pain; d) flexibility – measures the extent of motion at a joint. It is necessary so as to make daily movements with ease, and to help prevent injuries to muscles and joints. Studies showed that not enough flexibility of the back and legs also cause low back pain. There are a lot of reasons why physical fitness is one of the important requirements in hiring firefighters. The main reason for this is to assure the public that firefighters can perform and accomplish essential job functions.
And this reason will not be possible if firefighters are not physically and mentally fit. Aside from this, firefighters are required to perform difficult tasks which call for above-average endurance and superior conditioning. Firefighting also involved field works that needs a lot of walking, standing, and lifting 25 – 50 pounds of weight. Due to these given reasons, this student believes that physical fitness is a good form of assessment in hiring firefighters.
This student finds that the advantages of physical fitness of firefighters are as follows: since the job of firefighting puts maximum amount of stress on the body of firefighters for a long period of time in extreme weather conditions and extreme heat, it is only appropriate that they be physically fit. The cardiovascular system of firefighters must be properly accustomed to meet extreme temperature, oxygen demands, and stress during emergency cases.
Firefighters must not only be physically fit in order to safely do their assigned role and task, but reduce the probability and security of job-related injuries and illnesses as well. Physical fitness can also reduce occupationally acquired illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. It can also help prevent obesity among firefighters, since obesity is openly linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease and other problems. This in turn, is beneficial to the government as they do not have to shoulder too much costs of disability pension and illness allowances of unfit firefighters.
In the psychological aspect of firefighters, physical fitness develops the safety consciousness of firefighters during emergency response cases. It also promotes high morals of firefighters on their stressful period. In conclusion, with the benefits derived from the advantages of physical fitness as one of the criteria of assessment for hiring firefighters, the public will be rest assured that only highly qualified applicants will be selected and hired by the government.
With this, the given hypothetical scenario most likely will not happened in cases of fire emergencies, since all firefighters are physically fit and mentally alert. And that they can accomplish their job functions efficiently therefore save lives and properties of the public. Bibliography Fireman drills. (2008). Fire House. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www. firehouse. com/. Fire rescue. (2008). Fire Rescue. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www. firerescue1. com/. Fireman training. (2008). USFA. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www. usfa. fema. gov/training/lrc/.