Sometimes starting a new job means mounds of paperwork and never-ending powerpoint presentations, but that wasn’t the case for 19 Alexandria Fire Department recruits. During their second week of a 28-week academy, the recruits had the unique opportunity to work with O2X Human Performance Specialists, gaining skills and experience that will carry them through their careers as first responders.
During the four-day workshop, O2X Specialists led these recruits, along with other police officers and firefighters, in a course designed to educate, equip and inspire them by building physical and mental resilience. “Very insightful class on the inner workings of our own minds,” one participant said. “[It] greatly assisted in our understanding of why first responders feel and act the way we do.”
O2X Lead Instructor, Justin Herzog, says the class was a great group of engaged and interactive students, which made the workshop a lot of fun. But more importantly, the workshop was also informative, with the classes tailor-made to the unique group of training participants. “For the recruits, we were focused on setting them up for success at the start of their careers, and for the veterans we were hoping to inspire them to make the necessary changes to improve and finish their careers strong,” Justin says.
The participants agreed that the scope of the workshops were applicable and beneficial to their career growth and personal well-being, “As an older than average fire recruit, injury prevention is a high priority for me. This course was exactly what I needed,” one recruit said.
“Sleep was the best class of the program,” said another participant. “The instructor was hilarious and provided a college type atmosphere. Highly intelligent and class was massively applicable to the law enforcement career field.”
“Great information and was simple to understand,” another participant said about the nutrition programming. “Instructor was excited and passionate, which made it easy to stay engaged.”
This was the third time O2X has worked with the Alexandria Fire Department, and the second time with both the Alexandria Police Department and Herndon Police Department personnel. The Lee Center, near Old Town, Alexandria, hosted the event for the third time. The regional workshop included 24 total students, including: 19 Alexandria Fire Department recruits, one veteran Alexandria firefighter, two veteran Alexandria Police Department officers, and two Herndon Police Department officers.
The O2X Specialists on-site included:
- Jessica Silva, Instructor
- Adrian Wright-Fitzgerald, Injury Prevention Specialist
- Dave Terry, Strength & Conditioning Specialist
- Christine Sanchez, Mental Performance Specialist
- Annie Okerlin, Yoga Specialist
- Tracy Heller, Resilience Specialist
- Tina Burke, Sleep Specialist
- Tiffany Batsakis, Nutrition Specialist
You can read more about any of O2X’s specialists here:https://o2x.com/about-us/
Overall, it was a great, successful workshop, and the participants can return to their jobs, or in some cases, start their careers, feeling better prepared for the mental, physical, and emotional tolls of the job.