Santa Ana College Fire Technology
Removing Barriers to Firefighter Health and Wellness
Santa Ana College Fire Technology (SAC Fire Tech) provides training, education, and certifications for aspiring and incumbent fire and emergency service professionals. The SACFIT Wellness Program partners with more than 30 fire departments in the Southern California area and currently services more than 4,000 students. The SACFIT Wellness team consists of over 90 instructors with uniquely specialized backgrounds and focuses on improving the fitness and wellness of potential and incumbent firefighters.
Over the last 30 years, they’ve collected health, fitness, and wellness data using standardized assessments for Body Fat, Flexibility, Muscular Strength and Endurance, Pulmonary Function and Cardiorespiratory Fitness. SAC Fire Tech also administers the Biddle Physical Ability Test (PAT) and is home to one of oldest community college Fire Academies in the state.
SACFIT’s innovative leadership team saw an opportunity to help firefighters stay healthy throughout their careers and into retirement. They believed that if they could effectively analyze 30-years of firefighter fitness, wellness, and health data, they could further optimize firefighter wellness efforts. SACFIT also saw the potential to provide insightful original research to influence how the industry supports the health and wellness of First Responders.
The success of SACFIT Wellness outpaced the capabilities of a legacy data solution. The massive amounts of data existed in a rigid, spreadsheet-based, flat-file system, making it difficult and time-consuming to capture, manage, and visualize it in a meaningful way. The volume of information, the prospect of changing systems, and developing and adopting new protocols was projected to require an inordinate amount of time and additional resources.
In close partnership with Fusion Sport, SACFIT data was migrated to Smartabase, a Human Performance Platform. Paper-based data and spreadsheets were replaced with mobile-friendly input forms and custom dashboards for real-time data reporting and visualizations. The SACFIT Wellness team was empowered to make changes as they needed to support the wider rollout and evolve with growing needs.
Today, students, prospective firefighters, academy students, working firefighters, and departments interact with their data to better understand the factors that impact their health and wellness. By monitoring a range of metrics, personalized training programs are developed to help users maintain their levels within firefighter-specific norms. The flexibility of Smartabase allows SACFIT Wellness to evolve their solution and continue to address and mitigate barriers to firefighter’s health and wellness.