EMS professionals are challenged to balance work, family, and other obligations while also staying or striving for mental and physical fitness. The Everyday EMS Athlete is a regular column to recognize and learn from other EMS professionals that are setting and meeting fitness goals. This edition was contributed by EMT and author Barry Bachenheimer.
Q: What is your EMS job?
I am a volunteer EMT with the Roseland Fire Department, West Orange First Aid Squad, and the East Brunswick Rescue Squad in New Jersey.
Q: What are your athletic pursuits and goals?
I am a Master’s Swimmer and triathlete. I have been doing Masters swimming since 2005 and have competed in many open water races and meets. I am also a triathlete since 2007 and have competed in sprint and Olympic distances. I do both these activities for fitness, strength, camaraderie, and training goals.
Q: Do you have a race or accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
I tore my ACL in my right knee while playing volleyball in December 2011. I had reconstructive surgery in February 2012. I was told that I’d have to work really hard in rehab to race again by September 2012. I did and my first sprint tri post surgery in June 2012 and then went on to do three more races this summer, including a 3rd place finish in one of them.
Q: What are your tips for other EMS professionals to balance work and fitness?
Training and racing with a group is very helpful. When other folks are expecting you to be at a run or a swim, it helps you get out of bed to work out. Having events like races or triathlons helps too, as you know that you need to be in shape for an event to do well.
Q: Are there any organizations or sponsors you want to share with readers?
I am a children’s author and wrote a children’s book on EMS called “Please Don’t Dance in My Ambulance”. Visit the book’s facebook page and the book can be purchased on Amazon affiliate link (print or kindle)