New training program to help firefighters

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A new program for firefighters is supposed to help them recover faster after they’re hurt. It’s called O2X, and was created by Navy Seals. It focuses on fitness, healthy eating and sleeping. It will also teach about handling stress and fatigue.

The focus of the fitness training is to make firefighters stronger and improve flexibility, which in turn, helps them return to work faster after being injured. The $300,000 program will be mostly paid for through a federal grant. The grant funding will cover training for 50 firefighters, but the department’s Battalion Chief of Training has donated enough additional money to cover training for everyone on the department.

“It requires a very fit person mentally and physically to be able to do this job, and we don’t know when our big game is going to be, so we have to be in top shape all the time,” said Champaign Fire Department Lieutenant Joshua Jessup. Jessup says the department has never had a training program as comprehensive as this one.

There will be one training class next week and another in February. Champaign City Council will vote on this tonight.

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