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Firefighters up and down the country are being given the chance to boost their health and fitness following the introduction of our Level 3 Advanced Exercise and Fitness Apprenticeships, which has been specifically developed for Fire Brigade Union members.

We delighted to announce that we have been working closely with the FBU to approve a number of its training centres to deliver these apprenticeships. Firefighters are invited to study the course which includes anatomy and physiology, psychology, nutrition and, of course, expert insight in how to construct and complete effective exercise and fitness plans.

“Fitness is a huge topic in the fire service now, with all F&RS teams looking for firefighters to be working up to the age of 60” says Fire Brigade Union Learning Fund Project Manager, Mark Dunne. “We wanted to boost our colleagues’ knowledge and appreciation of their health, fitness and wellbeing by running a bespoke apprenticeship for them.”

The introduction of the Active IQ Level 3 Advanced Exercise and Fitness Apprenticeship is part of an on-going commitment by the Fire Brigade Union to provide its members with the opportunity to improve their overall health and enhance their knowledge. Maintaining a strong belief that education is a powerful resource and realising the important role it plays in the lives of its members at work and in their private lives, the FBU has offered a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing for previous years. However, this more in-depth Level 3 advanced apprenticeship offers a more comprehensive package covering aspects of flexibility, nutrition and physiology.

“Despite being a fitness enthusiast, I can now see that I was not training in the most efficient way,” says firefighter Richard Davis, 44, who is based in Leicestershire and now in his fifth year in the job. “We have dedicated a significant amount of time to applying the theory of psychology in training. When this is added to the insights we have gained with nutrition there is no doubt my overall health and fitness have improved since starting the course.”

So far, 21 services across the UK have introduced the Level 3 apprenticeship. “I believe the Fire Services which engage with the qualification will notice the benefits of having certified Level 3 trainers on site to help with rehabilitation, stretching and nutrition,” says Mark. As well as bringing a higher level of expertise to their workplace, firefighters on the course are also benefiting personally from this professional exercise and nutrition training.

“I have learnt so much more about fitness programmes and how to train to achieve my own personal goals” says firefighter Laura Wilton, 30, based in Nottingham. “It has given me a new drive and focus where I feel I am better equipped with the knowledge to make a real difference in my life, as well as enhancing my performance when at work”.

“Working up to the age of 60 as a firefighter is easier said than done due to the physically demanding nature of their work, not to mention the strong mentality required to cope with the pressure of the job” says Mark. “Whether 20 years or 55 years of age, there is a range of motion consistent with lifting, pulling and carrying which are incredibly demanding on the body. I believe the Active IQ course will not only complement firefighters’ work, it will also enable them to improve their own health and wellbeing.”