NAEMT Works with the American Council on Exercise to Improve Practitioner Fitness
May 9, 2012
To help improve the health of EMS practitioners and reduce the number and severity of injuries, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has embarked on an EMS Fitness Project in collaboration with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
The initiative will identify fitness requirements for EMTs and paramedics and develop suggested fitness guidelines that take into consideration the variety of EMS delivery models and environments within which EMS operates. These suggested guidelines are intended to be used by:
- EMS agencies in hiring practitioners and maintaining fitness levels within their agencies, and
- EMS practitioners to help them understand the physical fitness levels required for their jobs and how to maintain those fitness levels.
The goal of the EMS Fitness Project is to reduce the number and severity of injuries and lower the level of chronic disease within the EMS practitioner population to help them meet the physical demands of their jobs.
To initiate the project, the NAEMT Health & Safety Committee has selected five sites across the country that reflect a diversity of service delivery models and environments, populations served, and geographic locations. A team of specialists from ACE is now traveling to these sites to observe EMTs and paramedics on the job. The team is expected to complete their initial observations and practitioner task analysis by the end of summer 2012. Suggested guidelines will be published by early 2013.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with NAEMT to address the health, fitness, and job readiness needs of their EMS practitioners,” said Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. and Chief Science Officer for ACE. “We’ll be helping to ensure the health and safety of EMS practitioners, consequently benefiting them and the patients and communities they serve.”
The following services are serving as host sites for the EMS Fitness Project:
- Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, Bayfield, Colorado
- Memphis Division of Fire Services, Memphis, Tennessee
- Charleston County EMS, Charleston, South Carolina
- Austin-Travis County EMS, Austin, Texas
- North East Mobile Health Service, Scarborough, Maine
“Anyone who has been in EMS for any length of time knows the importance of being physically fit for the job. This is the first time that a major EMS organization has undertaken the project of ensuring that a template for physical fitness is tailored to the job we do,” says Don Lundy, B.S., NREMT-P, Chair, NAEMT Health & Safety Committee and NAEMT President-Elect. “It’s a fantastic project and one I hope will bring positive changes to our profession and our members.”
For more information about the EMS Fitness Project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.