Sep 7, 2022
La Crosse Looks for Tactical Fitness Program for Firefighters

la crosse

One Wisconsin city is ensuring its firefighters are physically prepared to perform at their best when it matters most.

The City of La Crosse’s Finance & Personnel Committee approved a service agreement last week, outlining that Mayo Clinic Health Systems will help develop and present a series of fitness programs to improve the health and ability of La Crosse’s firefighters.

A recent article from the La Crosse Tribune highlighted the partnership between the city’s fire departments and the Mayo Clinic Health Systems.

Below is an excerpt from the La Crosse Tribune about the tactical fitness partnership.

“They look at how we perform on the fireground, in heat-intense situations with our full gear on, and then they provide exercise workouts and some more advantageous ways to move on the fireground so we reduce risk of injury while increasing fitness levels,” Jeffrey Schott, La Crosse fire chief, said.

Mayo would provide up to three, two-hour classes for all firefighters to teach them the programs and help implement them across all fire stations.

According to the agreement, these programs would be provided as a “community benefit,” and would be at no cost to the city. Schott described it as a symbiotic relationship between the city and Mayo, because the medical staff will also be able to use the data from the programs for their own research.

“It’s not just about us here, they’re getting some other things on their side of the coin, too,” Schott said. “And I feel that’s probably the mutual benefit of the program.”

Schott said he expects to have “full buy-in” from firefighters, who would participate voluntarily. He expected more than 95% of the city’s firefighters to participate.

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The medical services would not be in exchange for any other benefit, such as the city referring patients to Mayo, according to the agreement. The two would work as independent contractors, and would not be considered a partnership.

This would be a one-year agreement to start, and would be reviewed on an annual basis.

“We hope this continues on indefinitely with an annual renewal,” Schott said.

To read the full story from the La Crosse Tribune, click here.