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North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service opens state of the art fitness and rehabilitation suite

Published on 28 July 2017
The suite provides NYFRS with a dual-purpose facility; offering a private and centralised location for the scientific and clinical elements of the Services annual Operational Fitness Assessments (OFA) and cardio vascular exercise machines designed to assess an individual’s capability and fitness
The suite boasts various pieces of specialist equipment used in both fitness testing and rehabilitation

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service recently opened a state of the art fitness and rehabilitation suite, which is located in Thirsk, at the ‘Joint Transport and Logistics Hub’ shared by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and North Yorkshire Police.

Specialist equipment

The suite boasts various pieces of specialist equipment used in both fitness testing and rehabilitation. The equipment ranges from cardio-pulmonary exercise testing equipment (gas analyser), to a bespoke rehabilitation fire engine unit, designed to simulate the side of a fire appliance. The Fitness and Rehabilitation Suite opened in May 2017, and a significant number of staff have already benefitted from the facility.

Area Manager Carl Boasman, Head of Professional Standards said: “The Services investment in a bespoke rehabilitation suite and dedicated Exercise Physiologist shows a real commitment towards improving the health and wellbeing of our staff.” He continues: “We have already seen a number of injured staff return to full duties as a direct result of the support they have received at the rehabilitation suite and we will continue to support all of our staff to maintain a high level of fitness and wellbeing.”

Dual-purpose facility

The suite provides NYFRS with a dual-purpose facility; offering a private and centralised location for the scientific and clinical elements of the Services annual Operational Fitness Assessments (OFA) and cardio vascular exercise machines designed to assess an individual’s capability and fitness. All the functional training equipment (power bags, battle ropes, slam balls, etc.) provided in the suite matches the provision of training equipment that NYFRS provides at each of its fire stations.

The Fitness and Rehabilitation Suite also provides an integrated exercise work space that can be used to simulate, assess, and rehabilitate role specific elements of physical activity, such as lifting and carrying. This work space is used to directly support staff members who are unable to perform their duties due to injury and facilitate a timely return to their workplace.

Enhancing staff support

As part of an identified need, Chris outlined the specification requirements of the suite and oversaw the project from planning to inception

The introduction of the fitness and rehabilitation suite is being led by Chris Johnstone the Service’s Exercise Physiologist. As part of an identified need, Chris outlined the specification requirements of the suite and oversaw the project from planning to inception.

Chris said: “When you give consideration to some of the national changes that UK FRS are adapting to, it is really important that North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is in the best possible position to support its staff members to safely carry out their roles, and this suite helps us do that.”

Of the completed suite, Chris went on to say: “As an applied practitioner, having a facility like this is fantastic for our staff and I’m really proud of what the Service has achieved. The suite is the culmination of a vast amount of research and work by the Occupational Health team and is geared towards improving the support that is available to our staff throughout their entire careers.”

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