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Ian Crosby, CEP, CSCS
Ian Crosby is the Wellness and Fitness Coordinator for the Calgary Fire Department (CFD). He has been an instructor for the American Council of Exercise (ACE) Peer Fitness Trainer (PFT) program. He is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP) with the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). .
1. What tactical population do you currently work with?
2. How did you get started in the TSAC (Tactical Strength and Conditioning) field?
Came through the ranks as a firefighter, certified as a department Peer Fitness Trainer since 1993, and currently serve as the department’s Wellness Coordinator.
3. What resources do you utilize for continuing education?
4. If you where hiring someone in your field, what would you look for?
1) Practical knowledge, 2) education, and 3) experience in working with the occupation.
5. Please describe the regular duties included in your position?
a. Supervise medical/fitness staff in wellness/medical facility; b. Order and maintain fitness equipment for the department’s 44 locations; and c. Coordinate peer trainers.
6. What are the two most important things you have learned; that you wish you knew when you were starting your career?
1. Change in the fire service happens slowly “be prepared for a marathon not a sprint," and 2. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel; establish networks and spend time researching other departments..
7. What recommendations would you give someone who is looking to start a career in TSAC?
Understand your population. Not just the physical requirements. What is the climate like? Are they receptive? Identify the all the players i.e., management team and Union Executive Board? Anticipate the obstacles e.g., budget constraints, staffing, equipment availability, etc..
8. What do you believe are the top three physical requirements for this population that must be addressed in a proper TSAC program?
a. Muscle strength and endurance; b. Aerobic/anaerobic conditioning; c. Proper movement - technique; and d. Inclusion of everybody (lowest common denominator) not just the highly motivated.
9. What steps do you go through when writing a program for the population you work with?
a. Goals - Identify the work demands; what does their job entail? (i.e., officer vs. non-officer); b. Assess clients training experience, fitness level, age, and personal expectations; c. Evaluate available equipment and facilities; d. Develop a plan using SMART acronym for goals setting; and e. Develop a perdiodized program.
10. What are some critical factors in getting tactical athletes to buy into a strength and conditioning program?
a. It must be enjoyable i.e., engages the group yet it still considers individual abilities; b. Challenging but not too difficult with appropriate supervision; c. Based on sound training principles; and d. Delivers desired results.