Medical data on Belgium’s 3,702 firemen and 181 firewomen shows that 64% have a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 30. This is enough for them to be classed as being overweight. Meanwhile, 19% had a BMI in excess of 30, making them obese.
The Leuven University Professor of Occupational medicine Lode Godderis believes that the figures are very high. Professor Godderis told the paper “A good physical condition and a healthy weight are important for someone that has to carry someone out from a flat via the steps during a fire”.
He calls for the issue of firefighters weight to be addressed by for example organising physical as well as technical exercises for firemen and women. However, this could prove difficult to implement as many fire-fighters work as volunteers.