Another firefighter has sustained a very serious injury during physical training at the beginning of their fire season. The first one that we are aware of this year occurred on May 2 in South Dakota when on the first day of training the firefighter was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis.
The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center just released a “72 hour report” from the Pacific Northwest Region about an April 19 heat stroke victim that happened on the second day.
Both of these conditions are extremely serious and in the worst case, can lead to death.
It must be very difficult to develop a perfect exercise regimen for all 20 people on a hand crew. Especially at the beginning of the season when some of the experienced firefighters may have had an ongoing physical fitness program during the off season, and others are brand new, never having held a shovel, and may have spent the winter on a couch.