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Fitness Program for Firefighters Unveiled

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

September 22, 2000

NORTHRIDGE — The Los Angeles City Fire Department on Thursday unveiled a new fitness-for-firefighters program designed by Cal State Northridge faculty and students.

The Fire Department hired CSUN kinesiology professor Steven Loy as its wellness coordinator, and he engaged 15 graduate students and 10 faculty members to help design the 24-minute exercise program.

The graduate students researched what muscles are used to perform such firefighting tasks as positioning a ladder, operating a rotary saw and picking up a fire victim, Loy said.

The group then came up with a variety of exercises, including a unique one in which the firefighter moves from a squatting position to a standing position, then lifts as much as 50 pounds overhead while wearing a 45-pound simulated breathing apparatus on his back.

Battalion Chief Daryl Arbuthnott said the program will be effective. Currently there is no formal exercise program for firefighters.

"It's geared toward our needs and incorporates cardiovascular exercises, so we can train to the level we need," he said.

The Fire Department is awaiting approval from the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, the union representing about 2,750 fire personnel, before implementing the program in all 104 fire stations citywide.

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