Needs Analysis and Program Design for Emergency Medical Service Personnel

by Susannah Reiner, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
TSAC Report October 2021
Vol 61, Issue 4


This article seeks to analyze the needs analysis for emergency medical service (EMS) personnel and provide sample strength and conditioning programming for EMS personnel.

Paywall block issue

This article is not configured properly for members or paid content.
isMemberOnly: {{isMemberOnly}} | isPaidContent: {{isPaidContent}}
spc: One or more parts of the product SPC is missing.

Read the full article

View the video

Login to view more

{{discountDesc}} Valid thru {{discountEnds}}

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} is available with a NSCA membership

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} can be purchased for {{prices}}
Price includes membership pricing and promotions

Purchase this {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}}. Price range: {{prices}}
Price range includes membership pricing and promotions

Become a Member Add to Cart Login

This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 

Related Reading



1. Abel, MG, Palmer, TG, and Trubee, N. Exercise program design for structural firefighters. Strength and Conditioning Journal 37(4): 8-19, 2015.

2. Alvar, BA, Sell, K, and Deuster, PA. Essentials of Tactical Strength and Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2017.

3. Baechle, TR, and Earle, RW. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2008.

4. Boland, LL, Kinzy, TG, Myers, RN, Fernstrom, KM, Kamrud, JW, Mink, PJ, and Stevens, AC. Burnout and exposure to critical incidents in a cohort of emergency medical services workers from Minnesota. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 19: 987, 2018.

5. Bonazza, NA, Smuin, D, Onks, CA, Silvis, ML, and Dhawan, A. Reliability, validity, and injury predictive value of the Functional Movement Screen: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Sports Medicine 45: 725-732, 2017.

6. Donnelly, E. Work-related stress and posttraumatic stress in Emergency Medical Services. Prehospital Emergency Care 16: 76-85, 2012.

7. Edenfield, TM, and Blumenthal, JA. Exercise and stress reduction. The Handbook of Stress Science: Biology, Psychology, and Health. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company; 301-319, 2011.

8. Grgic, J, Lazinica, B, Schoenfeld, BJ, and Pedisic, Z. Test-retest reliability of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength assessment: A systematic review. Sports Medicine – Open 6: 31, 2020.

9. Halpern, J, Maunder, RG, Schwartz, B, and Gurevich, M. Downtime after critical incidents in emergency medical technicians/paramedics. BioMed Research International, 2014.

10. Lavender, SA, Conrad, KM, Reichelt, PA, Johnson, PW, and Meyer TF. Biomechanical analyses of paramedics simulating frequently performed strenuous work tasks. Applied Ergonomics 31: 167-177, 2000.

11. Maguire, BJ, Browne, M, O’Neill, BJ, Dealy, MT, Clare, D, and O’Meara, P. International survey of violence against EMS personnel: Physical violence report. Prehospital Disaster Medicine 33: 526-531, 2018.

12. Maguire, BJ, Hunting, KL, Guidotti, TL, and Smith, GS. Occupational injuries among emergency medical services personnel. Prehospital Emergency Care 9: 405-411, 2005.

13. McGill, S. Core training: Evidence translating to better performance and injury prevention. Strength and Conditioning Journal 32(3), 33-46, 2010.

14. Nindl, BC, Alvar, BA, Dudley, RJ, Favre, MW, Martin, GJ, Sharp, MA, et al. Executive summary from the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s second blue ribbon panel on military physical readiness: Military physical performance testing. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 29: S216-S220, 2015.

15. Patterson, PD, Weaver, MD, Frank, RC, Warner, CW, Martin- Gill, C, Guyette, FX, et al. Association between poor sleep, fatigue, and safety outcomes in emergency medical services providers. Prehospital Emergency Care 16: 86-97, 2012.

16. Peterson, MD, Dodd, DJ, Alvar, BA, Rhea, MR, and Favre, M. Undulation training for development of hierarchical fitness and improved firefighter job performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(5): 1683-1695, 2008.

17. Reichard, AA, Marsh, SM, Tonozzi, TR, Konda, S, and Gormley, MA. Occupational injuries and exposures among emergency medical services workers. Prehospital Emergency Care 21: 420-431, 2017.

18. Reynolds, JM, Gordon, TJ, and Robergs, RA. Prediction of one repetition maximum strength from multiple repetition maximum testing and anthropometry. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 20(3): 584-592, 2006.

19. Rhea, MR, Ball, SD, Phillips, WT, and Burkett, LN. A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 16(2): 250-255, 2002.

20. Rodrigues, S, Paiva, JS, Dias, D, Pimentel, G, Kaiseler, M, and Cunha, JPS. Wearable biomonitoring platform for the assessment of stress and its impact on cognitive performance of firefighters: An experimental study. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 14: 250-262, 2018.

21. Seo, DI, Kim, E, Fahs, CA, Rossow, L, Young, K, Ferguson, SL, et al. Reliability of the one-repetition maximum test based on muscle group and gender. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 11: 221-225, 2012.

22. Thomas, M, Pohl, MB, Shapiro, R, Keeler, J, and Abel, MG. Effect of load carriage on tactical performance in special weapons and tactics operators. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32(2): 554-564, 2018.

23. Tortella, BJ, and Lavery, RF. Disabling job injuries among urban EMS providers. Prehospital Disaster Medicine 9: 210-213, 1994.

24. Turner, C, Crow, S, Crowther, T, Keating, B, Saupan, T, Pyfer, J, et al. Preventing non-contact ACL injuries in female athletes: What can we learn from dancers? Physical Therapy in Sport 31: 1-8, 2018.

25. Wilson, JM, Marin, PJ, Rhea, MR, Wilson, SM, Loenneke, JP, and Anderson, JC. Concurrent training: A meta-analysis examining interference of aerobic and resistance exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26: 2293-2307, 2012.

26. Yip, J, Webber, MP, Zeig-Owens, R, Vossbrinck, M, Singh, A, Kelly, K, and Prezant, DJ. FDNY and 9/11: Clinical services and health outcomes in World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers from 2001 to 2016. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 59(9): 695-708, 2016. 

About the author

Susannah Reiner, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Contact Susannah Reiner

Contact Susannah Reiner

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Susannah Reiner

Susannah Reiner is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Kentucky with the Sports Medicine Research Institute and the First Responder Researc ...

View full biography
#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now