Health and Wellness

Everyday EMS Athlete Profile: Peter Canning

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 Paramedic, Educator and Author Peter Canning.

Q: What is your EMS job?

I have been a full time paramedic in the Hartford, Connecticut area since 1995.  I also work part time as the EMS Coordinator at John Dempsey Hospital.

Run leg of a tri

Q: What are your athletic pursuits and goals?

I do triathlons, road races and open water swims.  My goals are to get stronger, run faster and go farther every year.  I didn’t start racing until I was 48.  At 53, I know one of these years I will be weaker, go slower and not as far, but I am doing everything I can to keep Father time at bay.

Q: What race, fitness, or lifestyle accomplishments are you particularly proud of?

I have done Olympic triathlons (one mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run) and run half marathons.  I am proud of myself everytime I cross a finish line.  I want to stay healthy enough that I can keep working as a street paramedic until I am 70, which is when my youngest daughter will hopefully graduate from college.

Bike leg of a tri

Q: What are your health and fitness tips for other EMS professionals?

  • Set a goal.
  • Take small steps.
  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Make certain you get plenty of rest.
  • Keep at it until you get there, then set a new goal.
  • Don’t neglect strength training.

I have started taking boot camp type fitnesses classes, which cost more than working out alone, but are more efficient use of my time.  I make much more progress when pushed to work out at an intensity I can’t manage on my own.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

My blog Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic.
My web site is
My books (Amazon affiliate links) are:
[amazon-product text=”Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine” type=”text”]0804116148[/amazon-product]
[amazon-product text=”Rescue 471: A Paramedics Stories” type=”text”]0804118825[/amazon-product]
[amazon-product text=”Mortal Men: Paramedics on the Streets of Hartford” type=”text”]B0079Q6D5E[/amazon-product]

All Everyday EMS Athletes featured in this column receive an e-gift card from Road ID. Check out the Road ID information for First Responders. View past columns and submit your profile at the Everyday EMS Athlete page



By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.