Posted by Nick Hrkman | Firefighter Combat Challenge, General, Health, Performance, Training
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 9:03 am

An old tool for a new workout

Photo by Mike Ong

By Mike Ong

Kettlebell History

For this information, I had to refer to our department’s kettlebell subject matter expert, Bob Ross, a 52-year-old firefighter/paramedic who’s been on the Phoenix Fire Department for 27 years. He’s also a Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) certified instructor who rehabilitated himself from back surgery after sustaining an injury in 2003 that could have ended his career. He began using a kettlebell after reading an article about a new exercise program that involved using a “cannonball with a handle.” After two short weeks, Ross’ back felt stronger and less painful. He also noticed that his cardiovascular strength was starting to increase. In 2005, he became certified by the RKC. The RKC was the first kettlebell instructor course offered in the United States, and continues to certify instructors today. I’ve worked with Ross and can attest to his excellent fitness level as well as the applicability and benefits of working out with kettlebells.


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Posted by byager | Care and Usage, Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge, Health, PPE, Performance
Friday, March 25th, 2011 7:03 am

Cardiac health: looking for puzzle pieces that fit

By Mary Jane Dittmar,

That there may be a connection between air pollution and sudden cardiac death is not news. What is news, however, is that at least one study has found that “pollution-related cardiac arrests occurred when particulate levels were high but still below the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety threshold of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air,” according to a study published in the September 20 online American Journal of Epidemiology. The research was conducted by the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. In a previous column, for example, it was reported that exposure to ultrafine particles during fire suppression should be considered a potential contributing factor for coronary heart disease in firefighters. The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010.

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System study looked at more than 8,000 people who suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in New York City between 2002 and 2006 in relation to air pollution levels during that time. The number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests rose four to 10 percent with each 10 microgram per cubic meter of air increase in small-particle air pollution. The eye-opening finding here, as cited above, was that these cardiac arrests occurred when particulate levels were still below the EPA safety threshold. This study adds to the growing body of research that suggests air pollution is bad for the heart. Earlier this year, the American Heart Association issued a statement noting that evidence is growing that air pollution is a risk factor in heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health, has funded a number of studies on the association between airborne particles, such as sulfur dioxide and other fossil fuel emissions, and the risk of early death from cardiovascular disease. The studies found a strong relationship. One of these studies was the Six Cities Study, conducted in 1974, at Harvard University. It initiated a long-term study on residents of the cities to assess the effects of common air pollutants on respiratory and cardiovascular health. More than 8,000 subjects were studied over a period of 14 to 16 years. The focus was on the health effects of gaseous pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide (the result of coal burning), and fine particle air pollution (that comes from motor vehicle exhaust and power plant emissions). Subjects living in the more polluted cities were found to have a higher risk of hospitalization and early death from pulmonary and heart diseases as compared with those living in the less polluted cities. Fine particle pollution was proven to have a stronger association with mortality than the gaseous pollutants.


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Posted by Hayley Fudge | Events, Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge, Health, News, PPE, People, Performance, Safety, Training
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 7:12 am

LION at the 2010 Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships

The Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships are the culmination of a season of hard work and rigorous training for teams around the world. Congratulations to all of the competitors for their dedication, hard work, sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the season each year. Their passion for firefighting, competition and sport are unmatched.

As they are every year, the top competitors for 2010 were inducted into the Lion’s Den, the “varsity club” of Combat Challenge competitors.

LION has been a long-term supporter and the official turnout gear and helmet sponsor of the Challenge because we believe in its mission of encouraging firefighter fitness and demonstrating the profession’s rigors in a public way. Wearing full turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), competitors race head-to-head as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks including climbing the 5-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-lb. “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock.

Check out this video of LION Janesville turnout gear in action – and what FFCC competitors have to say about it – at the 2010 Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last month.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, Events, Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge, Health, PPE, Performance, Safety, Training
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 9:11 am

Win a free set of Janesville racing gear at the 2010 Firefighter Combat Challenge Worlds

Are you a Firefighter Combat Challenge competitor? Will you be at the Firefighter Combat Challenge World Challenge XIX in Myrtle Beach, SC next week?

Lion is the official turnout and helmet sponsor of the Firefighter Combat Challenge. We are also the sponsor and host of the Lion’s Den awards and dinner each year, honoring the year’s top Challenge competitors.

Our turnout and racing gear is all about comfort, safety and mobility – the mobility you need to perform your best at Worlds.

We’re giving a set of our Lion Janesville racing gear at Worlds. All you have to do to be eligible to win is visit our Firefighter Combat Challenge page on Lion Connects and fill out the form. If you’ve already filled it out, you’re already eligible.

We look forward to seeing you in Myrtle Beach!

Posted by Hayley Fudge | Care and Usage, Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge, Health, News, PPE, People, Performance, Safety, Training
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 7:09 am

Try it out: What firefighters are saying about Lion Technical Footwear

As part of Lion’s Try it Out program, we’ve put our brand new leather firefighting boots on the feet of some of our Lion Connects fans who’ve signed up to try out our latest products.

We’ve asked firefighters to put our new structural firefighting boots to the test while on duty and provide us with honest feedback on how the boots feel and how they are performing in the line of duty.

“Right out of the box, I put them on and fell in love,” said Lt. Michael Swiman of the Wake Forest Fire Department in North Carolina. “I felt like they were made for me.”

A key feature for Lt. Swiman is the Lock-Fit Ankle Support System™ that is unique to Lion Technical Footwear.

“I like the ankle support in the Lion boots the best,” Swiman said. “I shattered my ankle about 12 years ago, and that extra support makes a big difference.”

Working comfort is also a critical factor for another tester, Vinnie Catennaci of the Wyocena Bureau of Fire in Wisconsin.

“These are awesome boots,” said Catennaci. “I have a pair of the Commander zip/lace boots. They are very comfortable and offer great support.”

We’re also looking for some firefighters to try out products from our line of Lion StationWear. Want to be considered? Fill out the Try it Out form, and you may be reading about yourself here soon.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Posted by Hayley Fudge | Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge, News, PPE, Performance, Safety
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 7:04 am

Caution! May cause extreme comfort!

Lion Technical Footwear - Comfort that won't quit.

We’ve talked about the benefits of leather vs. rubber firefighting boots in this previous Lion Connects post. Now, we’re ready to tell you why our brand new line of structural firefighting boots, Lion Technical Footwear, is going to provide you with the most durable, safe and comfortable set of boots you can wear, run after run.

We’ll be officially launching Lion Technical Footwear at this year’s FDIC in Indianapolis April 22-25. And we really want you to come try them on. Here are 10 reasons why you should come by Booth 1612 and try on a pair of our brand new firefighting boots.

1. All Lion Technical Footwear is union-made in North America of top-quality materials and workmanship.

2. The patented Lock-Fit Ankle Support System will hold your foot and ankle in place like no other boot can, reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls (a leading cause of fireground injuries) while drastically improving comfort.

3. Leather boots are lighter weight, more comfortable, and better fitting than rubber boots.


Posted by mrothmeyer | Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge
Friday, February 5th, 2010 3:02 pm

Behind the scenes at the Firefighter Combat Challenge

If you haven’t been to a Firefighter Combat Challenge yet — here’s a sneak peek. Hear from the competitors and see what LION’s role is in this widely-respected competitive firefighting tour.

Posted by mrothmeyer | Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Combat Challenge
Friday, February 5th, 2010 3:02 pm

Get fit for the 2010 Firefighter Combat Challenge

Learn from some of the top Firefighter Combat Challenge performers — how to get a good start, how to finish on your feet and why you should push it on the easier portions of the course. It’s all here ‚ Firefighter Combat Challenge training tips.

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