Health and Wellness

Everyday EMS Athlete: Zachary Hilton

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 Zachary Hilton, Paramedic/Firefighter.

What is your EMS job?

  • Firefighter/Paramedic for Oakland Fire Department
  • Managing Director for the Bay Area Paramedic Journal Club

What are your athletic pursuits and goals?

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I am a road cyclist.  I have been racing for 3 seasons now.  I plan to race 20+ races in 2013.  I plan on attending the Cascade Classic Stage Race in Bend, Oregon this year.  It’s the oldest stage race in the USA!

My goal each year is to race in the Mt Diablo Challenge.  11.2 miles and 3,300 ft of climbing.  The challenge is to finish in less than 1 hour.  1st year 1:13, 2nd year 1:06, and 3rd year 00:56.

Do you have an accomplishment you are particularly proud of?

Ever since I started riding road bikes 3 years ago I wanted to climb Mt Diablo in under an hour. The 1st year 1 hr. 13 min, 2nd 1 hr. 7 min, and this year 56min 27sec!

My former team Taleo Racing was a huge part in me succeeding in this event. We all pushed each other in training and during the event. Whether it’s giving each other wheels to draft from or a line a follow. This year’s event was my latest shining moment.

When I started my career at Oakland Fire Dept in 2000 I was 204 lbs. I am now 142 lbs during race season. It took becoming an athlete over the years to realize that I should drop some weight and live a more healthy lifestyle.

What are your fitness tips for other EMS professionals?

  • Start in small events first, and then move up.
  • Eat right.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Don’t work any extra shifts and live below your means.
  • Train more and train often.
  • Always compete against those that are better than you!

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Are there an organizations you would like to promote?

All Everyday EMS Athletes featured in this column receive a 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

Elearning designer, writer, podcaster, blogger, presenter and paramedic. To relax I run and bike as far and as fast as I can. Also like to read a lot and fast.