Physical Fitness Program
The goal of the Alpine Interagency Hotshot Crew Physical Fitness Training Program is to sustain a high degree of physical fitness required for wildland fire work. Crewmembers are required to work hard over extended time periods; the "PT" program is designed to develop both strength and endurance. Using a combination of exercises, the outcome is physically fit firefighters who are agile, productive, and less likely to suffer injuries or accidents due to fatigue. The key to succeeding in the program is for crewmembers to arrive for duty in great physical shape.
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.