The first class of the Fire Service Fitness Specialist Course held at The Cooper Institute addressed the fitness of one of the most physically demanding professionsfirefighters. In 2005, more than 47 U.S. firefighter deaths were stress-related and of those, 40 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths.  Additionally, an estimated 80,100 firefighters were injured in the line of duty in 2005, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2004. (National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, (


The Cooper Institute Fire Service Fitness Specialist Course aims to combat those injuries and preventable deaths by teaching the necessary training in fitness leadership and technical skills. In addition to education on anatomy; resistance and cardiovascular training; and nutrition, specific lectures on lower back health and the new NFPA fire standardsNFPA 1582 and NFPA

1583are included. The attendees also undergo fitness assessments and some medical screenings.


"It has always been important for us to make the most up-to-date fitness information available to our firefighters," said Lt. Joel Lavender, Dallas Fire- Rescue.  "The Cooper Institute's reputation in providing quality education in fitness training makes them a logical partner for us."


The Cooper Institute's classes are frequently offered to military, government and law enforcement agencies including the Navy, IRS, and regional law enforcement departments across the United States, but this is the first time a course has been customized to concentrate on the demands placed on firefighters.


"We are extremely excited to build on our expertise in servicing law enforcement and military fitness leaders to specifically address hazards and fitness issues affecting the fire service community," said Roger Reynolds, director of contract relations at The Cooper Institute.


The next Fire Service Fitness Specialist Course will be offered in June. The class will become a regularly scheduled part of The Cooper Institute course offerings in 2008.


About The Cooper Institute

The Cooper Institute was founded as a nonprofit 501(c)3 in June 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H. Located in Dallas on the grounds of Cooper Aerobics Center, it focuses on preventive medicine research and health education, promotion and certification. Areas of research include epidemiology, exercise physiology, behavior change, cancer prevention, children's health, obesity, nutrition, aging, diabetes, hypertension, weight management, health communication and other health issues. Certification programs and training courses are delivered worldwide to thousands of health and fitness professionals each year. For more information about The Cooper Institute, visit