South Florida

Broward Firefighters Participate in Yoga Classes

What to Know

  • Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue are participating in yoga classes.
  • The crews are participating in a four-day training which trains firefighters to be in top form - both mind and body.
  • Rescue chiefs hope to have all 750 firefighters take the course.

They move, stretch and hold a pose. This isn’t your typical yoga class – it’s geared towards firefighters.

“This yoga is definitely great for stretching and for cleansing the mind, kind of getting rid of the stress. Great for flexibility,” said Jo-Ann Lorber, a battalion chief for Ft. Lauderdale Fire Rescue. 

“It’s awesome, it’s something that I had never tried before,” said Marisol Tambling, a firefighter.

And there’s a deeper purpose behind the deep breathing – it helps firefighters stay well.

“Think of what they are carrying every day, getting in and out of the truck with about a hundred pounds of gear. Their joints get compressed, their spine gets compressed, they are in stressful situations. We want them to think clearly and act diligently to take care of the people they’re serving,” said Annie Okerlin, a yoga instructor.

Which is why the Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue is putting their crews through a four-day training from O2X Human Performance. The course treats firefighters like tactical athletes, and it’s tailored to keep them in top form – both mind and body. The yoga class is one part of the four-day training. 

“All these years of experience with working out and trying to eat right and doing everything, with this class they’re actually teaching these little nuggets that I wouldn’t have thought about before,” said Jim Hall, a firefighter.

The programs started in Boston before coming to South Florida. Fire chiefs tell NBC 6 they’re already noticing results.

“What we’re seeing is better preparation, better ability to perform and also reducing our injuries,” said Asst. Fire Chief Todd LeDuc of Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

“We’re out there doing things for the public but we sometimes forget that we have to take care of ourselves, so this kinda brings it all back into reality,” said a firefighter.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue’s goal is to get all 750 firefighters to through the program.

“I’m always worried about everybody else, so now it’s me time,” said a firefighter. 

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