IAFF LocalSeattle Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 27
DepartmentSeattle Fire Department
Members1,022 All Career
Kim Favorite
[email protected]


Wellness programs are not new to the Seattle Fire Department (SFD). Seattle was in the forefront of providing wellness programs as early as the 1970s.

In 1979, the Seattle Fire Department took a bold step by creating one of the first fire service specific fitness evaluation programs in the country. It did this by bringing on a University of Washington graduate student to provide voluntary fitness assessments and support for interested SFD members.

In 1980, the SFD — with joint labor and management collaboration — created a fully funded, mandatory, fitness evaluation program for all uniformed members.

In 1989, with the addition of new mandatory State Respiratory Clearance requirements for individuals wearing respirators — later to be known as the “B” exam — the SFD worked with the City, Local 27 and Local 2898 to also offer a more comprehensive medical evaluation to be known as the “A” exam.

In 1990, the fitness program and the medical program were pulled together under one roof, at Station 14, to create the first Fire Service Wellness Program in the country. By 1993, over 85% of the membership was participating in the “A” medicals and 99% were receiving an expanded fitness evaluation.

In 1996, due to the success of its wellness program, the Seattle Fire Department was chosen to become one of the 10 departments that became known as the IAFF/IAFC Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative Task Force. In a survey taken in late 1997, more than over 90 percent of SFD members responded that they would participate in the new IAFF/IAFC medical evaluation if it were offered.

In 2007, the SFD received an Assistance to Fire Service Grant (AFG) to provide base-line medicals, fitness assessments via the PFT program, and equipment to assist with the standardization of fitness equipment in each station.

In 2008, grant medical assessments, using the WFI protocols, were contracted though Swedish Hospital and Medical Center. All files are held separate from the Medical Center’s files. Assessment data is held in a separate record-keeping system. Both the records and the data can only be accessed by authorization from the programs lead physician. The WFI fitness assessments followed with PFTs at designated assessment sites for each Battalion.

From 2000-2008 work continued on the Occupational Health Center (OHC) design.  In January 2009, a construction bid was accepted for the OHC.

Although construction has started on a new OHC and the program protocols have been designed, the future of the medical and fitness assessment process is unclear at this time. Currently, there isn’t funding in the 2009-10 budget for Occupational Health and Fitness programs.


FacilityDepartment facility under construction, currently contracted hospital
PhysicianCurrently separate MDs contract for State required Respiratory Clearance and Entry Medicals
Additional StaffN/A
Exam FrequencyBaseline physical in 2008, planning for annual capability
Exam DetailsFull WFI protocol – download document

2008 Health Assessment Survey

Authorization to Release Information
Do Not Release Information Form
Health Assessment Exit Form
Health Assessment Questionnaire
MD Responsibilities
Medical Baseline RFP
Musculoskeletal Screening


IAFF/IAFC PFTs25 Certified PFTs
DutiesFitness evals
One-on-one & group trainings
Station visits on wellness issues
Fitness equipment checks
Fire Fit classes
Occupational Health & Fitness Committee meetings
Articles for newsletter
Exercise Time

1 hour per shift for operational personnel and 1/2 hour for Admin positions

Exercise ProgramMembers or crews can request one-on-one with a PFT via a formal request for service process
Fire Fit Class of the month (members come off-shift on their own time) led by a PFT with advanced certification in that field
Information provided in “Fitness” and “Workouts” sections in the Occupational Health & Fitness In-web
Equipment1 major piece of cardio (treadmill or stepmill, or elliptical, or concept II), full dumbbell set, medicine ball, stability balls, and exercise mats in stations
Larger stations have additional weights (dual pulley, spin bike, Olympic weights, kettlebells) depending on size of space
NutritionInformation provided in “Cooking on Shift” and “Nutrition” sections of OCC Health & Fitness In-web, as part of a newsletter info., and updates to PFTs

2009 Recruit Warm-up

Exercise Class Evaluation Sheet
Fire Fit 2009 Class Schedule
Goal Setting Worksheet
Heart Rate Record
Request for PFT Services Form
Request to Teach Fire Fit Class


MethodMembers have the ability to request Work Hardening
Modified/Light DutyYes – coordinated by Disability Officer
Injury Prevention CommitteeYes – part of both the Occupational Health Committee and the Safety Committee depending on cause

Disability Chart Notes

Behavioral Health

Method24-hour access to two SFD Chaplains for emergency support
EAPYes – City EAP
Stress Management

4-member Fire Dept. CISM Team, City EAP Programs

Cost Justification

MethodHad a specific cost justification report in 2007 by an outside consultant

Final Report

Data Collection

Method2008 baseline medicals are in Excel, all others are in chart form
Data CollectedHave a number of data reviews from the 2008 baseline medicals as well as information breakdowns from Workers’ Comp data (since 1979)

Final Report


AFG Grant Narrative
Communications Plan


Battalion Chief Job Analysis
Fire Fighter Job Analysis
Internal Web Page
Lecture Course Evaluation Sheet
Lieutenant-Captain Job Analysis
March 2007 Meeting Notes
March 2008 Meeting Notes
Overview of Environmental Conditions
Overview of Job Function
Paramedic Job Analysis
Peer Fitness Trainer Application
Peer Fitness Trainer SOP’s
Program Evaluation 2007
Recruit Prep Calendar
Recruit Prep Orientation Agenda
Recruit Wellness Book
Waiver of Liability
Web Page Sample