Dan Kerrigan Wants You ‘Functionally Fit’

By Derek Rosenfeld

The second day of the world’s best firefighting education continued inside and outside of the Indianapolis Convention Center at FDIC International 2019. Among the most interactive of all the workshops and classroom sessions during the week took place in room 134-5 as East Whiteland (PA) Fire Department Chief Fire Marshal/Health and Fitness Coordinator Dan Kerrigan and his guest speaker Jim Moss presented, “No Gym? No Problem: The Big 8 of Firefighter Functional Fitness.”

Kerrigan and Moss, co-authors of the book “Firefighter Functional Fitness,” used their vast expertise as fitness trainers and firefighters to cover a wide variety of ways firefighters can stay fit without the use of gyms and fancy equipment, instead relying on items within every fire station to become fit and ready to hit the fireground.

Here, Kerrigan goes over the categories functional strength training; the “Four R’s” of strength training; and the importance of muscular strength, endurance, and power:


“My passion for improving the health and wellness of firefighters began many years ago. It was a combination of the startling results of some research I had been conducting relative to firefighter fitness and wellness—in particular, the number of health-related on duty deaths—a personal realization that I was not as fit as I should be for the job we do, and some health-related issues some personnel at my own department were having that were impacting not only their own health but also our operational effectiveness,” said Kerrigan.

Kerrigan continued, “The fire service has many ‘wicked’ problems but, to be blunt, our feeling is that the number-one way to drastically reduce the number of annual on-duty deaths is by controlling the risk factors we can control, and the vast majority of those controllable risks are health-related.

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