ACFR beginning new physical fitness and training program

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Starting next week, Alachua County firefighters will have a new method of gauging their physical fitness and improving their training.

The Fireground Physical Ability Test (FPAT) is a new program from Firesled Fitness and Training that gives firefighters the ability to train and stay physically fit using equipment and techniques that simulate the tasks they would do on the job.

The fitness initiative that ACFR used previously involved routine exercises like the treadmill, pushups and situps, but they plan to use this program as their new annual benchmark.

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“On an annual basis, all of our firefighters will go through this program, they’ll go through the tour, the exercise of it all, to measure their fitness and benchmark it from year to year so that we can make sure that they’re staying in good physical fitness, but also if they’re struggling in areas, we have a pure fitness team assigned to them that will help them and increase their fitness abilities,” said ACFR Fire Chief Harold Theus.

“Whether it’s a pike pole and breaching the ceiling, whether it’s a sledgehammer that they’re simulating opening a door during forcible entry, crawling, all these things, pulling hose, they are real-life activities that firefighters do on the Fireground scenario. And so having a fitness program set up that teaches them how to do those things in a proper format is really game-changing for us.”

In addition to annual testing and training for current firefighters, ACFR also plans to use the program during their hiring process to ensure new recruits are physically capable.

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