The IAFC, IAFF and 10 local union-municipality pairs joined together to form the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Task Force. The Task Force has dedicated itself to developing a holistic, positive rehabilitating and educational approach to wellness and fitness programs in the fire service. The Task Force has developed the following three programs.
The Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness/Fitness Initiative
This Wellness/Fitness program is designed for incumbent fire service personnel. It requires a commitment by labor and management to a positive, individualized wellness-fitness program. The manual includes information on these topics:
- Fitness evaluation
- Medical evaluation
- Behavioral health
- Data collection
The Candidate Physical Ability Test
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed as a fair and valid evaluation tool to assist in the selection of firefighters, and to ensure that all fire fighter candidates possess the physical ability to complete critical tasks effectively and safely. The CPAT Program covers every aspect of administering the CPAT, including:
- Recruiting and mentoring programs
- Providing recruits with fitness guidance to help prepare them for the CPAT
- Setting up and administering the test
The entire validation process is discussed in detail, as well as the legal issues that departments might face when implementing the actual program.
In our ongoing effort to ensure that the CPAT is being used properly and only as intended, the CPAT Licensing Procedures affect the way in which this program can legally be used. These procedures were instituted by the Task Force to protect the integrity of the CPAT Program and the interests of the members of the IAFF and the IAFC by ensuring that the program is implemented properly and as intended.
The Fire Service Peer Fitness Trainer Certification
The IAFF/IAFC Task Force has determined that successful implementation of the Wellness/Fitness Initiative and the CPAT requires a fire fighter in each department who can take the lead. This individual must have the ability to design and implement fitness programs, to improve the wellness and fitness of his or her department and to assist with the physical training of recruits. This need for a department-level leader led to the development of the Fire Service Peer Fitness Trainer certification program. The program is being developed in conjunction with the American Council on Exercise.