Firefighting is one of the most demanding professions in the world. It is not an ordinary job and requires nerves of steel to save the lives of people. Fire services members have to go through immense stress and fatigue throughout their careers. That is why they experience health issues due to the rugged nature of the job. Serious health issues like heart attacks, cancer, and strokes are common among firefighters.
A huge responsibility lies on relevant authorities and organizations to take care of the health of firefighters. They have to take sound measures to ensure that fire service members are in the best shape possible.
But the primary responsibility lies on the shoulders of firefighters themselves to take care of themselves on and off-field. As a firefighter, you need to take care of every aspect of your health, from diet to sleep, to deliver your best in the fieldwork.
Following is a guide to ensure the health and wellness of firefighters.
- Stay Hydrated
The day usually starts with coffee in most firehouses, but it is vital to keep yourself hydrated with water because it is the primary component of all metabolic processes. It means the more hydrated you are, the better your performance will be.
Here’s a tip – If you’re an aspiring firefighter, you can register for a firefighting online training program to equip yourself with the skills needed to perform at your best and manage various aspects of mental and physical well-being for this demanding profession.
- Pay attention to Your Diet
Firefighters have to pay attention to their diet to fuel their bodies with the proper nutrients. You need quality food that does not contain artificial sweeteners and has lean proteins like chicken and fish. Also, try to eat leafy vegetables with high fiber and reduce sugar in your diet.
You may bring healthy meals to your workplace by preparing them at home to help you avoid unhealthy fruits. Here’s a tip,get some bananas or nuts to the firehouse to prevent sugar temptations. Once you are fueled during busy shifts, you will achieve maximum productivity and maintain your health while on duty.
- Workout Regularly
A fire and rescue job is very challenging that requires you to be physically strong. You have to create a daily workout plan to carry out to stay in the best physical shape. Working out consistently helps you gain physical and mental strength helping you through challenging physical and mental challenges.
Regular workouts also help you to gain core strength and develop stronger muscles. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight allows you to improve focus on work, and the endorphins released help detox your body.
If you can give an hour to your body daily, it’ll be enough because you don’t need to engage in hardcore physical training to improve your fitness. Simple exercises like running, push-ups, and pull-ups will help you accomplish y fitness goals and perform your duties successfully as a firefighter.
- Regularly Clean your Gear
Most firefighters take pride in wearing traditional gear. Since they’re made of protective clothing, it is vital to clean and wash them every day to prevent toxic chemicals from entering your body.
You can quickly inhale harmful materials without even knowing it. So, by properly maintaining and cleaning your gear, you will protect yourself and keep your crew safe too.
Every firefighter should follow the standard guidelines of gear cleaning to ensure they are following all the protocols. Whenever you return after an emergency response, clean your gear and ensure they’re not contaminated.Inform your supervisor if your equipment has deteriorated and you can not use it anymore.
- Manage Stress
Firefighting is a stressful occupation as you have to deal with different types of issues daily. While working in the field, you may see burn victims that leave a long-lasting impact on your mind. It is not easy to come out of such traumatic situations, but you have to stay strong and learn to manage your stress.
If you are not managing stress, it can have adverse effects on your mental health that can cause different health issues. High blood pressure, poor immune system, and heart issues are significant due to stress.
According to research, chronic stress causes frequent burnout and job dissatisfaction. To manage stress effectively, you should identify its root cause. Whether it is a toxic workplace or the bad behavior of your peers, you need to find out what is bothering you.
To deal with stress, you should try meditation and yoga regularly. These activities offer plenty of health benefits that help keep your emotional state stable. Another way of dealing with stress is to get enough sleep.
Staying restless always causes anxiety and fatigue that leads to depression. You have to plan your daily work schedule smartly to give your body enough rest. Staying away from caffeine before going to bed also helps you get stress-free sleep.
Being a firefighter puts a huge responsibility on your shoulders. You are responsible for ensuring the safety of the people during emergencies, and having a solid mental and physical state is crucial to perform your job perfectly.
In firefighting, you cannot afford any mistakes or errors in the field, so ensure you’re doing all you can to maintain your health. Regular workouts, a balanced diet, and a lack of stress will enable you to set an example for your peers and fellow firefighters.