The condition that a firefighter must be in to adequately perform on the fireground can be compared to that of a professional athlete. Unlike professional athletes, we don’t know when the next fire is, we don’t get to warm up and we don’t have the benefit of professional coaches, massage therapists, medical staffs and state of the art gym equipment. There has always been controversy regarding fitness standards. Many departments have fitness standards for their hiring process, as well as a yearly minimum evaluation. There is no current fitness test or standard for the State of Indiana firefighters.
The Indiana Smoke Diver program places high importance on firefighter conditioning. Remember, heart attacks are still the number one killer of firefighters nationally. The Smoke Diver course is not designed to increase the physical fitness of a firefighter. However, firefighter fitness is a byproduct of the entire training and preparation for the course. So the program does have a positive impact on firefighters' level of fitness.
The physical training portion of the Indiana Smoke Diver course is designed to warm up and then stress all the muscle groups, work your cardiovascular system and your flexibility. Calisthenics and the Obstacle Course are used because of time restraints. The calisthenics are used as a warm up to prevent injuries on the obstacle course.