Firefighters from Fort Dickenson

Firefighters Albert Culanding and Todd Pridgen are engulfed in smoke as they battle a blaze in a construction dumpster on Fort Pickett, Va., Feb. 15, 2009. They serve with the Fort Pickett Fire Department and as National Guardsmen Military Firefighters. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Tracy Hohmanl/Released)



Each year in the United States more than 300 law enforcement personnel and firefighters die in the line of duty and another 1500 are forced into early retirement because of job-related illnesses and injuries. Additionally, another 100,000 police officers and firefighters suffer lost-worktime occupational injuries. Although firefighting and law enforcement may require sudden, strenuous exertion and exceptional physical performance, a majority of the duties of public safety personnel can be characterized as sedentary in nature (i.e. vehicle patrol, building inspection, public education, equipment maintenance, and investigative activity). The combination of these two extremes in physical activity is responsible for a significant number of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Unless public safety agencies are willing to place sufficient emphasis on developing and maintaining firefighter and police officer fitness, they will be faced with on-going disability claims from personnel in less than optimal condition who are injured in the line of duty.

In response to a growing concern for the disabling illnesses and injuries suffered by these public safety personnel, members of the LawFit® and FireFit® Programs at George Mason University, personnel from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, and law enforcement and firefighting professionals from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia have come together to form the National Center for Public Safety Fitness. The Center’s mission is to provide health and fitness information and training for public safety personnel, to include: Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, Corrections Officers, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians.

If your department or agency is interested in:

  • Increasing the fitness levels of firefighters or police officers
  • Reducing lost work time injuries and workers’ compensation claims
  • Speeding up the recovery time of injured personnel

then…The National Center For Public Safety Fitness can provide the necessary training and education for your personnel.