Ft. Saskatchewan Fire Dept. Project

By Natalie Hartlen, Human factors specialist

Throughout the past several months, I have had the opportunity to work with the Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department on a fit for duty project. We’ve been examining all the job demands of a firefighter, including the psychosocial strains, the necessity of a high fitness level, and the toll that those late night calls do to fatigue levels. Finding ways to mitigate these risks will help to keep firefighters safe, as well as those that they risk their lives to help.

One of the highlights was joining the firefighters at the fire training facility in Vermillion, Alberta, and yes, the fire in that picture is as hot as it looks. That being said, this was a very eye opening experience; extreme temperatures, wearing full turnout gear, climbing stairs, pulling hose, all while keeping yourself, your team and the public safe.  The situations that firefighters are faced with on a daily basis can be extreme and stressful; mental and physical preparedness is of the utmost importance.

Together with a local health center and recreation facility we are working toward development of a comprehensive program that will account for the health of this department’s members, from pre-hire testing, post-incident observation, return to work procedures and a functional fitness program.

Through this project, the Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department has exemplified their commitment to serving and protecting the public, as well as keeping their fire fighting team healthy, happy and above all else, fit for duty.

SIX Safety Systems delivers fit-for-duty solutions that mitigate the risks associated with drugs, alcohol, and fatigue in the workplace. 



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