Firefighters from Cedar Park and Leander were among the men and women from 17 different Williamson County fire departments who participated in a five-day wellness-fitness training program at Georgetown Operations and Training Center last week.
“By improving the health and well-being of our firefighters, the department can reduce occupational claims and costs while simultaneously improving the quality and longevity of a firefighter’s life,” said Cedar Park Fire Chief James Mallinger, the president of the Williamson County Fire Chiefs Association.
A press release sent out from the Cedar Park Fire Department about the fitness-wellness training noted that the job of fighting fires and responding to emergency situations is one of the most dangerous and physically demanding professions.
The Williamson County Fire Chiefs Association hosted the weeklong Peer Fitness Trainer (PFT) course to help improve the safety, performance and quality of life of professional fire fighters and paramedics.
The training is designed to help reduce time lost due to both on-the-job and off-duty illness and injury.
“Promoting a work environment that encourages healthy, safe and physically fit personnel is one of the primary goals of having Peer Fitness Trainers," Mallinger said.
The PFT program for firefighters is part of a broader wellness-fitness initiative encouraged by the International Association of Fire Fighters, in partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which seeks to address firefighter medical, behavioral health and fitness issues.
The five-day PFT course used the latest research on firefighter health and wellness, exercise science and the prevention of injuries to help inform and empower fire fighters working to meet the needs of their community departments.
In addition to Cedar Park and Leander, fire departments from Bartlett, Coupland, Florence, Georgetown, Grainger, Hutto, Jarrell, Jollyville, Liberty Hill, Sam Bass, Round Rock, City of Taylor, Taylor VFD, Thrall and Weir participated in the wellness-fitness training.