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June 10, 2016 06:07 PM

Training Offers Lifelong Health Benefits For Firefighters

Sioux Falls, SD

Rob Flannery is a firefighter of just over two years with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. He hopes his career in emergency response spans well beyond that.

"Trying to live a healthy lifestyle all the way through to the end," Sioux Falls Firefighter Rob Flannery said.

But in his line of work, sometimes that plan is derailed.

"Fire personnel have fairly short careers and it's a highly intense job. A lot of people leave fire service because of injuries, and when they retire they have injuries leftover from fire," Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Capt. Clint DeBoer said.

Mark Roozen, or Coach Rozy, wants to help prevent those injuries and keep firefighers healthy on and off the job. The Yankton based instructor trained everyone from high school students to NFL and Olympic athletes. But this week, he shared his knowledge with Sioux Falls Firefighters.

"Kind of a whole pie that we talk about, you know. The wellness component, the health component, the performance component, nutrition. All of those play a factor in what's going on," 911 Tactical Performance Instructor Mark Roozen said.

For example, practicing how to best navigate a course of cones will help firefighters safely move through a burning building carrying 60-80 pounds of gear. The training these firefighters are getting could have livelong benefits.

"We'd like to help strengthen people and increase their quality of life after retirement," DeBoer said.

"If our nutrition's good; if we've got good rest; if we've taken care of ourselves physically, we're going to be able to perform at the best of our abilities," Flannery said.

That's how Flannery plans to continue his service to the community for years to come.

The firefighters who learned these techniques this week will take what they learned back to their fire houses and train their fellow firefighters.
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