Fitness in Action

 

Instagram, Facebook, and all the other social media out there are full of fitness influencers and inspirational memes talking about finding your “why”.  Why do you workout?  Why do you train?  Why do you desire to be fit?  They are powerful images that inspire us to examine our motivation, dig deep, and  work harder because  we remind  ourselves why it  is so important that  we make ourselves  better.

For any tactical athlete (operational military, police,  fire, EMS, etc.) that is worth their salt the “why” was  decided for them when they took their oath to defend the constitution and/or to serve and protect.  Why be fit?

– To be good/effective at their job,

– To not let  their buddies/partners  down when  the going gets tough,

– To make it home to their families.

Today, we remember 343 New York firefighters, 37 New York and New Jersey Port Authority police officers, 23 NYPD officers, 8 private EMTs and paramedics, and 1 New York Fire Patrolman died putting their “why” to the test 19 years ago on September 11, 2001.

Orio Palmer and Ronald Bucca

Pictured above are FDNY Battalion Chief Orio Palmer and Fire Marshall Ronald Bucca.  Both were avid marathoners, both were part of the initial command structure of the tower rescue efforts, and both were the first 2 rescuers to actually make it to the impact zone on the South Tower,  which spanned from the 77th to the 85th floors.

Upon the impact of the plane in the South Tower BC Palmer led a group to begin reconnaissance of what the impact was and to begin rescue efforts.  Marshall Bucca went with him.  They took the only working elevator up to the 4oth floor and then hustled up the stairs the remaining 37 floors where they encountered a group of people that had survived the initial impact and needed a way out.  The link below is the story of Orio Palmer, who was accompanied by Ronald Bucca.

 

When you do your workout today, or debate whether or not to workout, think of Orio Palmer and Ronald Bucca.  Think of the stamina and will power it took to race up 37+ floors while wearing close to 70 lbs of gear, and then the presence of mind to calmly radio the situation to the command post, guide victims to an exit, and possibly fix a radio transmitter to allow for better communications with rescuers in the stairwells.

For my fellow tactical athletes, let this encourage you to always work towards being physically capable of excelling at your job, and always striving to be the best you can at what you do.

Thank you to all those who serve at home and abroad to make this country the freest country in the world.  God Bless you and your families.