IAFF/ IAFC Joint Labor/ Management Wellness Fitness Initiative (Overview)

Wellness Fitness Initiative

The Mission

An overall wellness/fitness system must be developed to maintain firefighters’ physical and mental capabilities and should be the objective of every fire department. While such a program may be mandatory, agreement to initiate it must be mutual between the administration and its members represented by the local union. Any program of physical fitness must be positive and not punitive in design; require mandatory participation by all uniformed personnel in the department once implemented; allow for age, gender and position in the department; allow for on-duty-time participation utilizing facilities provided or arranged by the department; provide for rehabilitation and remedial support for those in need; contain training and education components, and be reasonable and equitable to all participants.

The program must address the following key points:

  • Confidentiality of behavioral, medical and fitness evaluations;
  • To develop a physical fitness and wellness program that is educational and rehabilitative and is not punitive;
  • Require a commitment by labor and management to a positive individualized fitness/wellness program;
  • Develop a holistic wellness approach that includes:
    • fitness
    • medical
    • rehabilitation
    • behavioral health
    • Be long term, program could be made available to retirees.