In the fast moving world of today, fitness cannot be compromised with at any levels, be it professional or personal lives. Tonnes of research have been carried out on the benefits of staying fit and this has opened up a whole new industry of fitness goods and devices. There are certain scenarios where being fit is considered to be one of the crucial tools of the trade. These include sportsmen, the armed forces, fire fighters and similar careers. For the last two, being fit and getting out of tough situations is often the thin dividing line between life and death.
Consider any situation that necessitates the presence of fire fighters. It will be seen that apart from skill and experience, moving fast is essential, not only for own safety but that of the others being rescued too. Have you ever seen a fire fighter perched on a tall ladder trying to get someone out of a window? Just imagine the level of fitness required if the task has to be done successfully. Now, think of a sloth and obese person in the same circumstances and you will appreciate that fitness is crucial for fire fighters.
It is not that fire fighters have to respond quickly to only genuine calls – every call is important real or dud and fitness counts. I know of a situation where an alarm had gone off in a place protected by a smoke security device. Fire fighters responded with alacrity, doused the fifth floor apartment with water after climbing the ladder, only to find that a smoke emitting device had been set off. These devices are connected to surveillance sensors. Whenever an intrusion takes place, the sensors are set off and simultaneously the smoke alarms too are triggered, covering the area in dense smoke in seconds. Unable to see anything, the intruder is forced to beat a hasty retreat.
Fire fighters are constantly in a state of high alert and their physical and mental faculties are always tuned to be ready at all times. This is the reason why training programmes are not limited to fighting fires only. Strenuous exercises, long runs with heavy loads and arduous commando type training are as much a part of his life as knowing how to put out fires and rescue trapped people. Only if he is fully fit can he do full justice to his job.