Franklin Fire Department program keeps firefighters in shape, helps prevent injuries

Hour long workouts, three times a week

FRANKLIN - An innovative program at the Franklin Fire Department helps keep first responders performing at a high level. 

For roughly five years, the Franklin Fire Department has paid trainers from Innovative Health & Fitness to lead firefighters through an hour-long workout three times per week. 

The workouts take place right at the firehouse. They're typically circuit-driven, meant to improve stamina and cut fat. 

"We're trying to be as functional as possible," said trainer Lucas Drumel. 

The exercises included in the workouts simulate the movements firefighters perform on the job. Those tasks include working on a fire scene or transporting a medical patient. 

"Anything that's going to relate to shoulders, knees," Drumel said. "We do a lot of core exercises too." 

"We're constantly picking up patients, we're on fire calls advancing hose lines or taking equipment off the engine," said Franklin firefighter Chad Foeckler. "This helps us on every call we go on." 

Drumel said being properly conditioned for the rigorous demands of work can also help prevent injuries among firefighters. 

Fire Chief Adam Remington said data shows that's already occurred. 

"In terms of our day-to-day sprain and strain injuries, we've reduced our lost time from the hundreds of hours down to the dozens of hours," Remington said. 

Foeckler said he and his co-workers enjoy the workouts, which help build camaraderie. 

But they're not always able to finish them. 

"If we have a call come in, we stop what we're doing and we go," he said. "That takes priority, of course." 

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