Zionsville Fire Department Receives L.I.F.E. Award

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From left, Chief Gerald George, Indiana Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) Director District 5, Jeff Beam, Training/Safety Captain Zionsville Fire Department and Lora Lex, Client Manager Public Safety Medical. (Submitted photo)

The Zionsville Fire Department was the proud recipient of the Leadership in Fitness Excellence (L.I.F.E.) Award at the 2012 Indiana Emergency Response Conference in the Combination/Volunteer category.

The L.I.F.E. Award is co‐presented by the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association and Public Safety Medical and was presented during the Indiana Emergency Response Conference Awards Banquette on Sept. 14. It recognizes the exemplary efforts of Public Safety Departments to improve the wellness and fitness of its personnel.

The Zionsville Fire Department has taken many steps to reach the accomplishment, including requiring annual physicals for all fulltime firefighters and optional physicals to all members of the department. These physicals include medical and fitness evaluations. On‐duty firefighters are allotted a minimum of 30 minutes a day of exercise time. Each fire station has physical fitness equipment that includes strength training, functional training and cardiovascular training. Additionally, injury prevention measures stretch beyond the traditional wellness/fitness program.

In 2008, ZFD began purchasing Stryker Power‐PRO cots for its ambulances. These cots are ergonomically designed with features such as oversized wheels and powered hydraulic lifts to minimize manual lifting and reduce the risk of back injuries. The personnel understand that their physical fitness has a far greater impact than just on their daily ability to perform their job functions; it will benefit them long after they have retired from public service.

As the winner of the L.I.F.E. Award, ZFD received $1,000 from Public Safety Medical, a $1,000 gift card to BGI Fitness towards new cycling and fitness equipment, a FEMA grant consultation and a crystal trophy and recognition at the annual Indiana Emergency Response Conference. The department will utilize the award proceeds to further fitness and wellness initiatives.

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