National Park Colorado
Alpine IHC crew members participate in a structured daily physical training program typically lasting 1-1 1/2 hours. Our physical training facilities include a weight room, outside training area and miles of trails on which to run. Our work center is at an elevation of almost 8000 feet with very little flat ground.
Crewmembers of the Alpine IHC should show up to work in excellent physical condition. The first two weeks of work are focused on wildland fire training and intensive physical conditioning. At the end of the second week, the Alpine IHC fitness test is given to evaluate each crewmember’s fitness level, the test includes: max pull-ups, one-minute max sit-ups, one-minute max push-ups, max bench press, stretch test, timed 1.5 mile run at 7500' elevation, and the standard “work capacity test” (hike three miles w/ 45lb. pack in under 45 minutes).
Physical Fitness Program
A typical five-day span of training could include alternating days of directed weight lifting/calisthenics, hiking, and running. The weight lifting/calisthenics may include repetitions of bench press, lat pull-downs, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, curls, leg extensions, and other free-weight exercises. The fast-pace runs include three-five mile runs, sprints, and hill work. Slow long-distance runs last from 45 to 60 plus minutes, with lots of hill work, trails, and road running with distances over six miles. Time is allotted for warm up and stretching prior to each PT session.
If you arrive for work out of shape, you run the risk of serious injury. The crew workouts could be detrimental to your physical well-being if you attempt the physical training in poor physical condition.
Don't fool yourself—Be in shape when you arrive for duty!
Occasionally, in the past, some crew members have arrived thinking they were in shape or that they could "handle it" and ended up trying to get in shape and catch up with the rest of the crew. Sometimes this has meant sitting out the first few weeks of fire season nursing injuries.
Crew Member Availability during the Season