“Most career fire halls do have some sort of fitness gym,” said Chief Bryce Luker, during a phone interview on the proposed project. “We try to match the positive points of every other (larger) fire department.”
Having a small exercise gym available for use of the township’s firefighters will help them maintain their physical fitness so they are in the best condition possible to deal with the rigors involved in handling many types of building fire situations or other emergency call incidents.
The East Hawkesbury Fire Department follows the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) standards for physical fitness for full-time fire fighters. The IAFF does not have a specific standard of physical fitness for volunteer fire fighters but Chief Luker encourages both the full-time and volunteer members to follow the IAFF standard.
“I do expect a certain level of fitness fitness for my people,” he said, adding that the department uses the IAFF’s design for an obstacle course to testing anyone applying to become a volunteer fire fighter.
The fire department presented a proposal during a recent meeting of East Hawkesbury council for dedicating an unused vehicle bay in the Chute-a-Blondeau fire station for a small fitness gym. Luker noted there would be no financial cost to the township. The department already has some free weights and cardio training equipment and would do its own fundraising to purchase floor mats and any other items needed.
Township council expressed support for the proposal but asked the fire department to postpone the project until after the Christmas season and allow time to see how the pandemic situation develops.