Sunday, October 17, 2021

Fitness on the Force

James Jay. Photos by Jeane Brennan

James Jay. Photos by Jeane Brennan

By Jeane Brennan

Meet James Jay

James Jay has been a firefighter paramedic for the City of Marco since 2003. However, this profession wasn’t James’ first. He worked for his father in the family plumbing business and then worked for the City of Cape Coral as an irrigation specialist.

There was a turning point in James’ life when he felt there had to be something, professionally, more satisfying and productive. He wasn’t sure, though, which direction the yearning would take him.

His two cousins are firefighter paramedics, his 2 brothers in law are firefighters and his father in law was a firefighter in Miami-Dade for 32 years. James said that he knew his wife since 3rd grade and when there wasn’t anything to do, visiting her father at the fire station was a common occurrence. Thus, choosing a new career as a firefighter seemed to be a natural course. James graduated

James begins a step workout.

James begins a step workout.

from the Broward Fire Academy, became an EMT at Miami-Dade and graduated from the Paramedic School of FMTI in Broward.

James feels he found his true calling and said “serving the public in an emergency capacity is truly satisfying.” The favorite part of his job is dealing with the medical aspect and one of the most difficult tasks of the job is going on a call that has to do with children. One of the most rewarding times on duty was when his team brought a child back to life after 27 minutes of death. The child had no neurological deficit.

Marco Island firefighters work 2 days on and have 4 days off. James works part time as an EMT for Collier County.

The Exercise – Give it a whirl

Step up with a twist whereas the rotation expands strength benefits of step workout:

The move: A step up that adds a

James demonstrates proper stance.

James demonstrates proper stance.

rotation to work more parts of the body.

Works on: Glutes, hamstrings and external rotators of the leg.

Level of difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate.

Precautions: If you have any existing knee injuries or issues, be careful when twisting. Be aware of your current fitness level and make the height of the step match appropriately.

Setup: Begin with feet hip-distance apart about 1 foot in front of a step, standing to the side of the step. The step can range in height from ankle level if working on balance and beginner fitness to as high as thigh level.

Steps: Step up with the foot closest to the step and turn the foot outward toward the front of the step. Then step up and extend the back foot out into a glute squeeze.

Repetitions: Repeat to times on one leg and then change legs. Perform two to three sets.

Options: Add 3 to 8 pound dumbbells in each hand to increase intensity.

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