Firefighters render essential services in our society. These professionals make up the frontline workers of many calamities and disasters. The work they do is not only courageous but very risky. The signs and symptoms of the dangerous work most firefighters show on their bodies. They have severe body and joint aches followed by conditions like a heart attack. They also have a jeopardized immune system and are prone to get diseases like cancer. Unless these issues get addressed, firefighters will continue getting ill. Their health will continue to deplete, and ultimately they will collapse. While the systemic change will take time, there are few factors you can take care of as a firefighter. Here’s how you can look after yourself better:
Firefighters work in harsh and rigorous environments. Their work exposes them to high levels of flame and even smoke. When they’re off the clock, they’re busy maintaining their equipment. It is essential while firefighters train, work or sit in their office, they maintain hydration. Progressive hydration messes with a firefighter’s performance. They have trouble staying focused and may even get dizzy. If they’re already dehydrated and go on rescue, the smoke may render them unconscious. Most fire workers consume copious amounts of coffee. Caffeine also contributes to increased dehydration.
Join Recertification Program
Training programs can help firefighters stay on top of their game. There are many techniques they may have forgotten. Therefore, getting recertification will help them get back on track. Firefighters need to go for the training programs available for them. They can join online firefighter training to get the latest skills and knowledge from the comfort of their home. For instance, they can also go for a firefighter group recertification program to improve their department’s outcomes.
The result is, firefighters will always stay in shape and ready for action. These programs also cover the basics such as life-saving techniques, CPR, and how to locate a source of water.
Firefighters need to have a healthy diet. If they overeat greasy food, it will weigh down on their body. Healthy meals include grilled meat, salads, fish, and food high in fiber. They should go easy on the alcohol and avoid having sugars. Firefighters can also host a group burger cookout instead of ordering from restaurants. Firefighters should carry snacks with them, such as baby carrots, cucumbers, and fruits. If they want to bulk up, they can use more protein in their diet, preferably home-cooked and grilled. They should also carry water bottles with them, and while occasionally sugar is okay, health matters more. Healthy eating also helps keep their weight in check and prevent cases of obesity.
Check-in with a Therapist
Emergencies and rescue missions can get traumatizing. Mental health is equally important as physical well-being, so going to therapy is a good idea. A therapist can help a firefighter work through what they see and feel when they work. If therapists think that the firefighter is feeling too overwhelmed at work, refer them to a psychiatrist. A firefighter’s mental health is essential. If they’re not doing well, it will make it difficult for them to work. Anxiety and depression can make it challenging to help others. So help is necessary for the line of work.
Hit the Gym More
Firefighters need to be quick on their feet. They need to lift people, furniture and maneuver through buildings. Unless they’re physically fit, they’ll sustain injuries and even struggle to help. A gym can help a firefighter keep themselves in shape. They are more agile and toned enough to help people. Going to the gym also allows these professionals to get a higher pain tolerance with the vital profession. They also develop a greater lung capacity, and their circulation improves significantly. As a result, looking after their bodies also keeps many diseases away from them. They’ll never get heart conditions or even sudden lung conditions. Exercise outside of the gym is also good for their health. Firefighters can also do yoga, stretches, and even aerobics.
Clean Gear Everyday
The clothing and gear firefighters wear often get covered in fumes. These fumes can come from toxic sources. Houses and factories have numerous chemicals that can catch fire. Unless they get appropriately looked after, they can cause multiple illnesses. Soot is a common problem from such fires. So after firefighters get done with their work, they should take the time out to clean their gear. It’s essential to wash all protective equipment properly. They should also scrub down their cars and wheels to avoid inhaling fumes within the truck. Before packing all the gear away, they should make sure they are working and not damaged.
Firefighter Support Groups
A firefighter support group can help firefighters support each other. There is a particular bond these professionals share. Their work experience and the rescue missions they go on bring them together. Instead of internalizing what they feel and what they see, they should talk about it. Sharing feelings is an excellent way to prevent stress and emotional fatigue from you. Unless firefighters know how to cope with work stress, they may resort to unhealthy means. These include eating unhealthy food, drugs, and even substance abuse.
Firefighters’ work takes a toll on them, and unless they’re healthy and fit, it can get catastrophic. There are numerous ways firefighters can take care of themselves. They can start by staying hydrated and keeping up with their training. Mental health is as important as physical health. It would help if firefighters also check in with a therapist or build a support system for themselves at work. Firefighters can also support their well-being by engaging in exercising and enjoying healthy meals. One essential aspect firefighters can also work on is cleaning their gear. While these measures may seem small, they make a significant difference in a firefighter’s life.