Fired up for fitness - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fired up for fitness

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - In an emergency, most of us run away from the danger, but firefighters run right to it. Albany firefighters are working to make sure they're in the best shape to handle those life or death situations.

The adrenaline rush from emergency calls can take a toll on them. That's why Phoebe Putney partnered with the Albany Fire Department to help improve firefighters' overall health.

They are establishing a wellness program, with classes on healthy eating, proper prescription use and exercise.  Assistant Chief Ron Rowe said, "Historically, 45-50% of all firemen die because of heart related illnesses and we're 400 times more likely to die while we're performing on job than any other job in the nation so instead of being reactive, we're trying to change to be proactive about our health."

Darrell Sabbs said, "They literally go from 0 to 80 every time that bell goes off and you know if you were to gun your engine from 0 to 80 everyday it would harm your engine, so needless to say, it can be very harmful and stressful to their bodies."

Firefighters who participate in the program will have health screenings and their progress will be tracked throughout the next year.

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