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

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 a leading expert on public safety injury prevention. As the president and founder of Fit Responder, Bryan’s company works nationally with departments, corporations, and state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety fitness, ergonomics and wellness. He authored the Fit Responder book used by departments and schools, and writes for numerous web and peer-reviewed journals.

Bryan holds a bachelors’ degree in sports medicine with more than 17 years of clinical practice, was a paramedic for more than 8 years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer (ATC, LAT), Strength Coach (CSCS) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Fit Responder developed the nation’s first validated pre-hire Physical Abilities Test for EMS. Bryan is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics including risk reduction, employee self-care, real world wellness and How to Eat on the street. Fit Responder also offers a mobile app and program for Fire-Rescue fitness. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com.

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  2. Health and Wellness

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