The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is looking to train fire service employees as personal fitness trainers in an effort to support firefighters to remain fit enough to do their physically demanding job.
The move to provide FBU ‘personal training apprenticeships’ has attracted interest from more than threequarters of fire and rescue services in England, the union said. The union was acting as new official guidance produced jointly by fire service employers and FBU was launched, recommending a joint approach to enable firefighters to remain fit.
FBU said the best practice guidance will be used to challenge any fitness policy that fails to recognise the key points within the guidance. The union said it “will not agree to any policy that places firefighters in danger in relation to their fitness levels.”
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said the document suggests a safe fitness standard, a consistent approach to assessments and a supportive rather than a punitive attitude.
“We hope that older firefighters will be safe to carry on working and be as fit and healthy as they can. The guidance doesn’t resolve all of our concerns, but it does give us a platform to work from.”
“We are very pleased that fire and rescue services in England are interested in taking up our personal training apprenticeships.”