PF&R’s Health and Wellness Program introduced a new the Pre-Active Stretching (Flexibility) Program on July 1, 2011.
Video courtesy of North Portland KATU
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The program provides a standardized approach to stretching movement patterns. These stretches, when done correctly and consistently, will improve firefighters flexibility, range of motion and reduce injuries. “The main goal is to take care of all of our firefighters,” said Chief Jim Forquer, EMS Chief and a supporter of the program.
“There was a realization of several types of injuries including shoulder, back and knees,” Chief Forquer stated as he explained the reasoning of this program. With this daily stretching it will help reduce injuries and time loss from them.
Each day, all firefighters must follow the instructional stretching program to do their duty day stretches at roll call. They will also have their flexibility measured by the Sit and Reach protocol and the Cobra Stretch. This daily change in their routine has not been an easy task. Though it may take some adaption, there have been many positive comments about this program and firefighters are seeing a difference.
Behind the scenes it has been a long journey to implement this program. It has taken 4 years to put this idea into action. Funding for the program was initially a challenge. Thanks to the developer and manager of this program, PF&R Nurse Janet Woodside, they found the funding from the Fire & Police Disability and Retirement Fund.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 15, 2011