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FT firefighters show endurance in triathlon
|Photo courtesy Jason Brockmeyer
Firefighters Jason Brockmeyer, Nick Thornton, Chris Grile, Nick Schirtzinger, and Jason Hughes of the Franklin Township Fire Department competing at the 2011 Giant Eagle Olympic Triathlon.
Five firefighters swam 0.9 miles in Alum Creek, bicycled 24.8 miles through Worthington and ran 6.2 miles along the Scioto River to the Arena District.
In the inaugural Giant Eagle Olympic Triathlon at the Multisport Festival July 30-31, Franklin Township firefighters Nick Thornton, Chris Grile, Jason Hughes, and Jason Brockmeyer placed first through fourth place in the Police and Fire division, and Nick Schirtzinger placed 15th in the 35-39 age bracket.
According to Franklin Township Fire Chief Richard Howard, all the department’s members completed the race in less than three hours, with the quickest time out of the five coming from Schirtzinger at two hours and 26 minutes.
“I’m proud the guys take the time to participate in physical fitness, which benefits the township residents,” Howard said.
Howard said the advantage of the firefighters embracing physical fitness is clear. On emergency calls they work longer and have more endurance.
Also, when using oxygen bottles they can breathe better – not having to suck up all the air from losing breath too fast.
In 2010, Franklin Township transported thousands of people to the hospital. The firefighters finds themselves so busy, Howard said, that a lot of times the firefighters plan workout regimens around their work schedule and outside the job.
“The challenge is finding the time,” Howard said.
When the firefighters do find time to work out at the firehouse, they work with free weights and equipment donated by General Motors. According to Howard, summer months prove easier for running outside, but the men exercise year round – the treadmill gets constant usage.
“Everybody uses it to some degree whether they walk or run,” Howard said.
However, the fire department has always taken initiative and has shown in the past they are not afraid of some hard work.
The Sullivant Avenue station was built in 1955 before much else was around it. Fifteen years later the township decided to add on to the building, including today’s continuance education classroom. While contractors put up the walls and laid down the floor – the rest of the interior, like cabinets and other woodwork, was built and put up by the firemen.
The fire department is now gearing up and training for the Columbus Marathon this October.
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