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  • Obese First Responders

    I know, a topic that's a big can O worms right there! I recall In one major city PD, they tried to initiate a basic yearly physical requirement, and anyone who joined passed a date was grandfathered, so the older guys not in shape didn't have to worry, and the union went ballistic and blocked it. I can't fathom for the life of me how anyone could be a first responder, and be too fat and out of shape to get out of their own way. You have no biz doing that job if you're as much a liability as a help. I have seen some truly obese EMTs... The LEOs/Fire/EMT I know who do stay in shape for their own health and obvious benefits to job performance find it difficult to work with obese people which for some has lead to career ending injuries when the people/person they worked with could not carry their own weight (no pun intended) when it really mattered.

    Now, for those who want to get the best bang for time spent in the gym to be the most effective patrol officer you can be, I have co- authored an article that will be published in major LE publication that outlines where patrol officers need to focus to be most effective at the job, and return home each night safely. Stay tuned! Read:

    "The NYPD is being dragged down by overweight cops — and the brass isn’t doing anything about the ballooning problem, police sources told The Post.

    “We really are the world’s largest police department,” said one veteran cop who’s worked in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

    “We’re the fattest police department in the country … because we have no requirement to stay in shape.”

    Some cops are terrified that their out-of-shape colleagues won’t be able to provide backup in physically demanding situations — even if they don’t keel over from the exertion.

    “If you have a 300-pound partner who can’t even run up a flight of stairs. … it’s dangerous for everybody,” one cop said."


    Cont:


    https://nypost.com/.../fat-cops-are-...down-the-nypd/

    [email protected] www.BrinkZone.com








    - Will

    Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

    www.OptimalSWAT.com

    General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

    www.BrinkZone.com

  • #2
    That’s because its not a simple issue thanks to civil service and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Here’s how it works.

    Once a civil service employee passes probation they achieve permanent status and enjoy what’s called a “Liberty Interest” in their job. Legally speaking, that’s akin to having a property interest in, or owning your position and you cannot be removed from it without “just cause.”

    In this case, “just cause” would mean the employer must demonstrate you are physically incapable of performing the “critical physical tasks” of the job. But what are the “critical physical tasks” of the job? They can’t be something someone thinks of off the top of their head. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act , they must be reasonable and they must demonstrate a valid relationship to the job.. That sounds simple, but it is not. You have to do a complex study of your individual department’s typical duties to ensure you encompass as many of the physical and medical demands placed upon officers,. You must then employ physicians to determine what standard is reasonable, whether allowances should be made for gender, genetic ethnic makeup, etc. , the list goes on and on. Most law enforcement agencies have less than 25 sworn and their budgets can’t afford a critical task study, so they simply don’t have any standards of this nature.

    But let’s assume they do. First, you’re going to have to build a case showing specific incidents where the officer has been able to perform critical physical standards because of his physical condition. (No longer meets the minimum requirements for the position). In keeping with the management philosophy of progressive discipline, you will have to offer him a chance to remedy the situation (lose weight, get in better shape) within a reasonable period of time.

    When you do this be prepared for your officer to file a worker’s comp claim. They will allege that the unusual working hours that don’t allow for consistent meal breaks or healthy eating, long hours that interrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, and job related stress have cumulatively created weight gain. This is a shot across the bow, warning you that if they are unable to achieve the weight and conditioning goals management sets for them and an attempt is made to fire them, they will file for (and probably be awarded) a disability pension, so tread carefully here.

    Now, let’s assume they don’t meet management’s weight and conditioning goals and are still unable to perform the department’s critical physical tasks. You attempt to fire them as they no longer possess the minimum qualifications necessary to perform the duties of the position. There will be a civil service hearing and possibly appeals to superior and appellate courts There will be considerable media coverage every time there is a hearing and depending on how well these officers are (or are not) liked, considerable morale problems may (or may not) fester within the agency.

    For each out of shape officer, this will be a multi-year process. The question each administrator asks himself before undertaking such an action is, do I have the legal budget and wherewithal to deal with the morale issues and media circus that will result?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      That was it in a nutshell.
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #4
        When I medically retired the City had a 3 page list of job requirements. The last one, while vague, summed it up and basically said meets physical requirements/abilities of the job. Based on my disability I didn't fight it.

        I think weight is different. I could not regain the use of a quitter body but weight can be lost. We had an officer who was so obese he couldn't stand up unassisted after performing CPR. He retired and lost a ton of weight.

        Comment


        • #5
          Be ready for a fight in the Marigold field...
          Now go home and get your shine box!

          Comment


          • #6
            A lot of people I know gained the civil service equivalent of the freshman 15. Always attributed it to stress and the lack of decent food out there while working. Realistically obesity is a huge issue in general. I remember hearing some crazy claim that either my generation(or my kids) will outlive their kids. I forget which one but both are still friggen nuts. Who can honestly say they didn't see this coming though. Our diets are poop and unhealthy stuff is often lauded as healthy. We sold ourselves to big " food " mega companies and cheap school lunches.
            Last edited by TUNEDNIMPORTED; 04-03-2018, 05:51 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L-1 View Post
              That’s because its not a simple issue thanks to civil service and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Here’s how it works.
              Great intel thanx!
              - Will

              Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

              www.OptimalSWAT.com

              General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

              www.BrinkZone.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WillBrink View Post
                “If you have a 300-pound partner who can’t even run up a flight of stairs. … it’s dangerous for everybody,” one cop said."
                Will, excellent post.... It’s not unusual for grossly overweight deconditioned LEO’s to become gravely fatigued going full bore hands on more than 30 seconds. I witnessed an exhausted 300+ LEO go down on his back, like a tortoise on its shell; he was unable to flip himself over by twisting his body and get on his feet. I agree it’s dangerous for everybody.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our agency is implementing mandatory yearly fitness tests. If you fail it once, you time to remediate, fail it again, you go to the academy where they remediate you. Fail it a third time, you are in trouble.

                  In my opinion, there is no excuse in this line of work for being grossly overweight/out of shape. Is it tough to find decent meals, workout time, etc? Yes, but nothing is easy and it's something you have to be committed to. There is always time to do a short workout and it's not terribly hard to lay off the junk food. At the end of the day, it's your life and your colleagues lives you are putting at risk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by m.p.c View Post
                    Our agency is implementing mandatory yearly fitness tests. If you fail it once, you time to remediate, fail it again, you go to the academy where they remediate you. Fail it a third time, you are in trouble.
                    FWIW, my agency tried that a little over 20 years ago. Here’s what happened.

                    Fitness standards were established and varied depending upon age and sex. If you passed, you got to keep your job. You also got an extra $130 per month in your paycheck. If you failed, you were given a chance to remediate (get back in shape) and after a certain window were tested again. If you failed a second time, you were terminated. Officers who were hired prior to the implementation of these standards (and already had permanent civil service status) were grandfathered, not required to comply and did not have to test. However, if they did and passed, they got the $130 per month, but nothing happened to them if they failed.

                    The thought here was by implementing this program, fitness would be maintained on a year-round basis. In turn, increased fitness would minimize workers comp claims and disability retirement costs due to heart, hypertension and ortho injuries, which were the biggest of our industrial injury costs. It was envisioned that such a program would create a tremendous saving for the department in workers compensation and disability retirement costs.

                    The reality was, the majority of officers made little effort to stay in shape except for the few months prior to when they were scheduled to test. Then, they would scramble to try and get back in shape, in order to meet the testing standards. It was then that we would get a spike in costly, disabling physical fitness maintenance injuries. Because maintaining physical fitness was a mandated work requirement, these injuries were deemed to be work related and compensable under workers compensation and disability retirement laws. The resulting workers comp and disability retirement costs far exceeded any dollar amount the department envisioned saving under the mandatory fitness program and it was abandoned.

                    Again, this was a lesson in be careful what you wish for.


                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                    Comment


                    • m.p.c
                      m.p.c commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Trust me, I agree the same will happen with us. I'm more interested to see how it works out with the supervisors, since it's mandatory across the board. You're telling me a Chief will be penalized for failing? Ya, sure. Not to mention all the injuries. A lot of pencil whipping will go on and at the end of the day, the policy change was just so whoever wrote it can put on their resume that they instituted an agency policy change.

                      Prior to a mandatory test, it was all incentive based. At the end of the day, it's a numbers game. Are you really going to pull guys when the agency is already severely understaffed? I can't see it happening.

                      That said, there is no excuse in my opinion to be prepared for the job. I'm not saying you have to lift a thousand pounds and run 4 minute miles, but make the effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by m.p.c View Post
                    Our agency is implementing mandatory yearly fitness tests. If you fail it once, you time to remediate, fail it again, you go to the academy where they remediate you. Fail it a third time, you are in trouble.

                    In my opinion, there is no excuse in this line of work for being grossly overweight/out of shape. Is it tough to find decent meals, workout time, etc? Yes, but nothing is easy and it's something you have to be committed to. There is always time to do a short workout and it's not terribly hard to lay off the junk food. At the end of the day, it's your life and your colleagues lives you are putting at risk
                    There shouldn't be any excuse period for anybody. Its so friggen bad for you and I hate when people just avoid the words " being fat will kill you". S*** IT'S WORSE THAN ACTUALLY SMOKING CIGARETTES. That should say a lot. I will say the whole medical side needs to do a a lot more addressing the psychological reasons why people might have a weight spurt. Oh and get rid of the soda/snack machines in city buildings(schools included).... its just plain stupidity.
                    Last edited by TUNEDNIMPORTED; 04-03-2018, 04:54 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      When I started LE back in 2002 I was nearly underweight but fairly fit. After a deployment to Kuwait I gained about 40ish pounds but was still fully capable of joining a tactical team. I left for the feds and ended up gaining about 40ish more over the first 4.5 years I was there to nearly 300 pounds. It got to the point where I couldn't effectively sprint a 1/4 mile without feeling like I was going to die. In June of last year I put in for the VRA ICE DO announcement and began a somewhat strict diet and exercise regiment. I lost about 75 pounds in about six months and I am in substantially better shape now sitting at 215.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                        The reality was, the majority of officers made little effort to stay in shape except for the few months prior to when they were scheduled to test. Then, they would scramble to try and get back in shape, in order to meet the testing standards. It was then that we would get a spike in costly, disabling physical fitness maintenance injuries. Because maintaining physical fitness was a mandated work requirement, these injuries were deemed to be work related and compensable under workers compensation and disability retirement laws. The resulting workers comp and disability retirement costs far exceeded any dollar amount the department envisioned saving under the mandatory fitness program and it was abandoned.
                        My agency was concerned about this as well. We do require annual fitness tests...but we also offer incentives to work out on a regular basis. Our officers have the option to work out for a minimum of 30 minutes either before or after their regular shift, and they are rewarded with half an hour of comp time. We typically work four 10h shifts, so an officer who works out before or after each shift accumulates 8 hours of comp time per month. Most officers end up with an extra eight days off per year. Some start doing it for the comp time, others do it for health reasons...but almost everyone seems to agree that it's beneficial once they get into the habit. The officers on night shift tend to work out before their shift and it helps them wake up/stay awake...and the day shift likes to destress after work before going home and dealing with family drama...

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Well, when we live in a society where healthy food is expensive, cheap food is unhealthy, and cracking open a chest to do a multiple bypass surgery is the norm, what do you expect?
                          Originally posted by RSGSRT
                          We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                          Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Aerohead View Post
                            Well, when we live in a society where healthy food is expensive, cheap food is unhealthy, and cracking open a chest to do a multiple bypass surgery is the norm, what do you expect?
                            Agreed. Ask me how much I pay for the "organic" stuff. Totally worth it though. Take that GMO reps bwahahahaha.

                            Comment

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