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View New Recommended EMS Fitness Guidelines

Mar 15, 2013

In an effort to reduce injuries from patient movement, improve EMS practitioner health and create a safer work environment, NAEMT collaborated with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) last year to create recommended EMS fitness guidelines.

The guidelines, contained in the document Task Performance and Health Improvement Recommendations for Emergency Medical Service Practitioners, were formally endorsed by the NAEMT Board of Directors on January 18, and were presented on March 8 at EMS Today by NAEMT President Don Lundy and ACE Exercise Scientist and Curriculum Development Specialist Sabrena Merrill.

To conduct the research upon which the recommended guidelines are based, ACE sent a team of exercise physiologists to five sites across the country that offered a variety of service delivery models, environments, populations served, geography, and a diversity of EMS practitioners. The physiologists observed EMS practitioners bending, twisting, reaching, pushing, pulling and maneuvering while providing patient care - repetitive motions often done in tight spaces. They also observed the external loads imposed by carrying or moving patients and equipment. The team used the site visits, ride-along encounters and staff interviews to generate initial observations and a practitioner task analysis. The results of the efforts were found to be consistent from site to site.

The recommended guidelines are designed to achieve the following primary outcomes:

  • Improve job-related physical capacity;
  • Improve overall wellness;
  • Create self-reliance.

Learn more and view the recommended EMS fitness guidelines here.