The Thinning of Today’s Fire Service

Whoa…hello…another taboo topic here at…Obesity.

Some of us are big boned, and yet some of us are fat. Some of us who realize that we have let ourselves go find a way to make ourselves healthier, more fit, and smaller than we were before.

The Fire Service Warrior answers a pretty big question in this post about their philosophy and being a fit firefighter. It isn’t directly related to the obese, but read it and you will get the relationship.

There are so many overweight firefighters. I see them. I have stood next to them when lobbying politicians for better pay and benefits…and felt it was a lost cause standing next to a guy who was two hot dogs away from a heart attack. It pains me.

I am sorry if feelings are hurt. We are firefighters…we are expected to be able to do the impossible 24/7. Can you do it?

I admit that I am not in the best shape of my life. At 35, married, father of two I am trying my best to get in better shape. In the future I will share my before and after photos. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t let myself go too far. I realized the path my body was heading and made changes.

Right now, I would like to share the story of one of my Brothers. He has offered to share his story because he is proud. He is proud of realizing where he was and that it wasn’t healthy.

This is the story of Mikey Johnson:

I began a “lifestyle change” 6 months ago. In the past 6 months, I have managed to lose 150 lbs.

I am a Firefighter/EMT with Calhoun Falls Fire Department and Abbeville County EMS in upstate South Carolina. I began my weight loss journey March 23,2012 after my wife and I learned that we were expecting. Right around that same time, I found myself becoming the “outstanding firefighter”… “Out standing” in the front yard of a house fire, while my buddies were inside taking care of business. Simply because, I couldn’t get my turnout gear fastened. Both moments, become life changing; giving me the motivation I would need! To be able to play around with, and be healthier for our son; as well as be physically able to continue to do the two things that I love: fighting fire, and being the best EMT that I could.

On that day, I began a diet with healthier options; as well as lower portion sizes. On top of the diet, I began exercising. Hitting the gym 5-6 times/week. Every once in a while throwing in a early morning workout before jumping on the ambulance. Immediately, I began to feel better. Healthier. And as the weeks past, began noticing the changes.

It hasn’t been the easiest ride by no means… Our son was born 14 weeks early, only living two days due to prematurity. This was the hardest time of my wife and I’s lives, and my health took the backseat… The main reason I had began this journey, had just been taken away from us. However, after a lot of thoughts running through my head, I was able to straighten up; and understand that our son was in heaven with our lord and savior, and that I needed to continue the journey I started for him, to be a man he would be proud to call his father!

At this point of this journey, my wife and I are both working out daily; not only changing our lives and getting healthier, but just another way for us to get closer together and spend more time together.

I have never felt better in my life! I have made two different interior attacks on working structure fires since beginning this journey! One at 100 lbs lost, and one here recently at 150 lbs lost, and it felt amazing to be able to go to work, with the physical ability to get the job done! The knowledge of knowing how far I have come, and how good it feels to be healthier and 150 lbs lighter is plenty enough to motivate myself to keep the weight off!

Thanks for sharing your story Brother. Keep up the great work!