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Be a Firefighter >> Browse Articles >> Ten Steps to Becoming a Volunteer Firefighter

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Step 6: Be In Good Physical Condition

Step 6: Be In Good Physical Condition

Kendra Weikman & Luther Berge

The Fire and Rescue industry is and can be very demanding, both physically and mentally.

When most of us hear the word “physical,” we automatically think of ripped abs and tones arms. This is not the context that we use this word. The phrase “good physical condition” simply implies that you can handle strenuous activity for a certain period of time.

You will be required to lift and carry heavy items such as rolls of hose, ladders, patients, (you will usually have a partner to help) and other weighty objects. You will also need the ability to heavy equipment and tools used for entrapment and accident calls. These tools can include the Jaws of Life, and any pumps that go with them.

Being in good shape does not mean achieving a certain height, weight or size. You can be a large, tall and burly man and still be in good physical condition.

Some keys to staying in good condition are normal exercise routines. Riding bikes and walking are two easy and less-intense ways to help your cardio health. Use lightweights when lifting to keep muscles from getting tight, and slowly increase the weight to help build their strength and density.

Have regular physicals to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Heard disease is the number one killer of firefighters, and understanding your potential risk can help save your life in the end. Above all, keep a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Be aware that some volunteer departments have a ban on smoking and tobacco, and other may require a physical fitness test prior to hiring. Do your research and know what to expect.


Step 7: Possess Good Time Management Skills


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