Wattbike was the main sponsor of FireFit 2019 this year, which is the UK’s biggest annual conference for the Fire and Rescue Services. At the conference, firefighter PTi Craig Gregson from Lancashire Fire and Rescue presented findings after an extensive 12 month evaluation of the Wattbike FireFit Test, used to assess the fitness of firefighters around the country. After these 12 months of research and testing, the FireFit test now has a dedicated firmware and is available on the Wattbike Hub app.
Standardisation of fitness
The FireFit test has been introduced after the Fire and Rescue services identified a need for a standardised test which would provide them with an indication of cardiovascular fitness levels of their service men and women. Collaborating with Wattbike since 2017, the National Fire Chief’s Council and Wattbike scientists have conducted extensive research and testing across the past two years to determine the best way to test firefighter fitness. The introduction of the FireFit test has standardised testing across all districts to determine cardiovascular fitness levels of all service staff.
At the FireFit conference, our team engaged with a number of Fire Brigades interested in introducing the new FireFit Test. The Firefit Steering Group and conference agreed that the test should also be recommended as an optional surrogate test for injured Firefighters that should not use a load bearing method for the annual fitness test.
The implementation of the FireFit test is a major contribution towards maintaining fitness levels within the Fire and Rescue services, as many Firefighters carry MKSI injuries as their careers progress. This enables them to train and be evaluated without risk of further aggravating already existing injuries or experiencing new injuries, and ultimately turning them into fitter firefighters.