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Home > Topics > Health and Wellness
September 27, 2011
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First in Fitness
by Bryan Fass

On-duty EMS fitness: The "Big 6" stretches

For a long and healthy career in EMS, start each shift with your gear, truck, and your body in excellent working order

By Bryan Fass

Injury prevention, fitness and wellness are all important aspects of a career in public safety.

Take it one step further and let's add easier lifting, transferring, moving, carrying, and transporting patients or objects in your job.

One of the key components of achieving all these goals is good flexibility throughout your body. But we are not just talking about just any old stretch when you feel like or remember to do it, we are talking about the six most important stretches to help you do your job better.

Doing these stretches will help you do your job better by giving you the abto move through a full range of motion.

Most injuries occur because you do not move normally and are forced to complete the task at hand any way you can, most likely with poor form. This leads to strain patterns in the body which load the back, knees, shoulders and neck, which ultimately causes tissue failure in the body. This tissue failure, an overexertion injury, is preventable through good mechanics, and we achieve good mechanics are through full range of motion.

The big 6 stretches are easy to do on-duty and in uniform. As the video instructs, stretch regularly throughout the day and go through all 6 stretches after checking the truck off for the day.

For a long and healthy career in EMS, start each shift with your gear, truck, and your body in excellent working order.

About the author

Bryan Fass is an expert on public safety injury prevention, patient and equipment handling ergonomics, fitness and wellness and a noted speaker and consultant. Bryan has authored four books including the Fit Responder. He works nationally with departments, corporations, state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs for public entities and private organizations. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety. Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in sports medicine, was a paramedic for more than eight years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer & Strength Coach. He is the president and founder of the Fit Responder. Contact Bryan at
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