Firefighters get fit to save lives in Williamson County

Firefighters in Williamson County are training to be Peer Fitness Trainers (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).
Firefighters in Williamson County are training to be Peer Fitness Trainers (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Looking around a room at the Public Safety and Operations Training Center in Georgetown, there are a lot of “buff” firefighters, but the focus is on how they got so fit.

“If my knees are not in line, if my back is out of position, I’m just stressing that, so that later I’m on the fire truck, I step off the fire truck, I blow a knee out,” explains Cedar Park firefighter Taylor Selden.

Selden is just one of the firefighters from all over Williamson County that’s being certified as a peer fitness trainer. They’re taking what they learn back to their departments to train fellow firefighters, focusing on posture and technique to avoid injury.

“People rely on us to help them, to save them,” explains Selden. “So if we’re not fit, if we’re not able to do the job then we’re not just hurting ourselves or our fellow firefighters, we’re also hurting the people we serve.”

The training is also equipping firefighters for the Texas heat. “Your body is already hot and you put all that gear on, it’s to protect you from the fire but it’s also trapping all that heat inside,” says Selden. “Helping your cardiorespiratory system, it’s going to help you deal with that heat.”

Brandlyn Gernert with Round Rock Fire is the only female firefighter taking the course. “Anything that he can do, I can do as well, I might just need a little more training.”

The Peer Fitness Trainer certification course is a week long. Trained firefighters will be able to design exercise programs specific to individuals within their department.

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