The Austin Public Safety Wellness Center provides a variety of fitness services to AFD and EMS sworn employees, all of which are free of charge. Three full-time exercise physiologists are on staff to provide fitness assessments, health coaching, workout programming, and injury rehabilitation counseling. The exercise physiologists are also available to visit stations and provide guidance on proper weight lifting techniques.
First responders are often required to work in unpredictable and strenuous situations. It is essential that they maintain high levels of cardiovascular fitness to perform the duties of the job and maintain optimal health. There are many different modes of cardiovascular fitness. Included in this section are various workouts including swimming, rowing, treadmill, and bodyweight programs.
Tight muscles can lead to a myriad of injuries. Massaging with foam roller, and/or lacrosse ball, is an inexpensive way to keep the muscles loose and functioning properly. Foam rollers vary greatly in price but most sporting goods stores have a variety to choose from. The more dense the foam roller the deeper the massage. Lacrosse balls are also found at most sporting goods stores and only cost a few dollars. In this section you will find techniques for massaging common problem areas with both lacrosse balls and foam rollers.
The repetitive nature of the tasks performed by first responders can often lead to overuse injuries. The following links provide preventive and rehabilitation programs for a variety of chronic issues.
Strength training is an essential element of all fitness programs, and functions to preventing injury, speeding up metabolism, and building lean muscle mass. Access this portal to download a 12-week strength training program, view video tutorials for the major lifts, and view the Truckroom 18 workout schedules.
Dehydration is a serious problem among first responders and can significantly impair job performance and health. The Austin Public Safety Wellness Center has developed a protocol to minimize the effects of dehydration among fire cadets. In this section you can view the process the Austin Fire Department uses to recognize and manage fire cadet hydration.
I have been with the Wellness Center since October 2016. Prior to this position I was a United States Marine for just over 20 years. During that time I had many positions and experiences related to health and fitness. I have always enjoyed and been proud of being fit and healthy, and more importantly learning and helping others to have the same quality of life. Due to this, I have often been sought out for advice on this topic, which then lead me to pursue and be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology/Health Promotion with a Specialization in Strength and Conditioning Coaching from UT. An interesting fact about me is that I had never been to Texas until the day I moved here.
I have been a member of the Austin Public Safety Wellness Center since November 2016. Before joining the City of Austin I was employed as a wellness coordinator for Freescale/NXP Semiconductor. Working with public safety has been an amazing experience so far and I am excited to get to know all of you. I was a competitive swimmer for 15 years before I transitioned to long distance running and triathlon. My main areas of concentration are injury rehabilitation, endurance training, and swim coaching. I earned an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of the Pacific and a master’s degree in Health Promotion/Health Education from the University of Texas. In addition I hold certifications as a cancer exercise specialist, health coach, and health education specialist.
My passion for helping others stems from the fact that I was blessed with mentors that always believed in me. I’ve always loved the process of physical training, and it’s become my medium to help others develop mental toughness, strength, fitness, and the “I can” mentality. My primary experience is in collegiate strength and conditioning, but I’ve worked in a variety of settings including personal training, physical therapy, group exercise, and special populations. In my free time, I enjoy lifting heavy things, hiking, playing guitar and singing, smoking meats, and breakfast tacos. It’s my firm belief that wellness is a lifelong journey, and it’s never too late to start blazing your own path.