Paramedic educator, fitness advocate Bryan Fass dies
Fass leaves a legacy of contributions to EMS health and fitness, safety and readiness
We asked EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board members, columnists and contributors to share their tributes to Bryan. Read what they had to say about his legacy and watch a video tribute here.
Bryan Fass, 46, a caregiver, educator, paramedic, athlete, athletic trainer and leader, died suddenly on September 16.
Word of Bryan’s death has hit me and the thousands of EMS professionals who knew him like a punch to the gut. Maybe you’ve heard Bryan speak at an EMS conference or read one of his articles on EMS1, JEMS or EMS World, or participated in a validated EMS fitness for duty assessment conducted by Bryan. I am shocked to tears and grieve for Bryan’s wife, son, family and close friends.
Sudden death, especially in a man so young and always in peak physical condition, is shocking. Why? How? I am not sure the explanations will matter or lessen the profound sense of loss you and I feel, though this is what I know about Bryan and his incredible contributions to our profession.
Bryan had a deep, unwavering and persistent commitment to our safety, health and wellness. He believed every EMS provider was a tactical athlete that had to be ready for the constant fitness and ergonomic challenges of EMS work. In Bryan’s words, we are people movers who secondarily provide patient care. Bryan wanted us all to be effective at lifting and moving people for our own safety, career longevity and to benefit our patients.
Bryan was an EMS entrepreneur. He successfully combined his passions, EMS field experience, academic knowledge of athletic training and a market opportunity to build a business. The Fit Responder, founded in 2007, has delivered programming and fitness assessments to thousands of EMS professionals. Fit Responder programs have saved EMS agencies money, reduced on-duty injuries and helped injured responders return to health and duty faster. For agencies and personnel who couldn’t purchase Bryan’s services, he gave them dozens of articles in industry publications and numerous conference presentations.
Fass’s commitment to helping EMS be fit, ready
I likely first met Bryan at an EMS World Expo or EMS Today conference, maybe at a recording of the MedicCast hosted by our mutual friend Jamie Davis. Bryan and I connected immediately because of our shared interest in personal fitness and encouraging other EMS professionals to adopt better health and wellness habits. Those interests quickly became a friendship rekindled two or three times per year that I was fortunate to visit with Bryan at an industry conference. Our conversations were always short on work, so we could discuss our children and their accomplishments. Bryan beamed with pride talking about his son, but never tired of hearing stories about my family.
Bryan always challenged us to be our best selves. He wanted us to be fit, ready, focused and attuned to our bodies. Thank you Bryan, for your friendship, dedication to EMS and all you gave to helping us be our best.
Bryan’s knowledge and passion will live on in the articles, videos and podcasts he contributed to EMS and fire industry publications. Read some of Bryan’s contributions to EMS1 here:
- 4 steps to achieve true fitness in fire/EMS
- 3 simple habits for EMTs to stay fit and have fun
- 5 steps to creating an EMS wellness program
- With EMS fitness habits, change is good
- Developing a sense of pride
In lieu of flowers, Bryan's family is requesting donations to support his son's college education, care of: The McIntosh Law Firm Trust Account for The Benefit of Kevin Fass, PO Box 2270, Davidson, NC, 28036.