Resources for desiging a fitness room for our public safety building.
April 12, 2013 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend resources for designing a fitness room for a public safety building? Including: blueprints for room dimensions equipment recommendation anything else I can't think of?

I have been tasked with developing a proposal for our city council as we move forward with the design of a new public safety building. This building would be a functioning Fire Department, Police Station, EMS, and 911 Dispatch.
Seeing as the building serves the needs of two different departments, we would need to account for physical fitness training for all responding Firefighters/Emergency First Responders and Police officers. The requirements I know of now include an area for takedown drills for the Police Department, enough space for up to 4 people to work out, various aerobic stations for the Fire Department, as well as upper body strength training.
I am not looking for a lot of single purpose machinery, we are working on a fitness program with a minimal fitness routine (pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, dips, etc.), would want basic free weights, a treadmill or two (or equivalent cardio trainer that is NOT a stationary bicycle).

More information, our city has been fighting funding this every step of the way! Our current fire department floods when it rains or snows, we don't have enough space to park our apparatus as it. In the winter we get months at a time with sub-freezing temperatures, with regular winds around 60mph.

If anyone has designed a space for this purpose, or works in a fire department with an adequate fitness room, PLEASE advise me. Thanks!
posted by maleru to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
I don't really have great design ideas (sorry) but, having worked for various F/EMS departments, I would highly suggest having some lower impact cardio machines available, probably an elliptical trainer at least. Super important for people rehab-ing from / trying to prevent knee injuries.

Along the same lines, having an adequately padded surface throughout the gym is also important (and will help with noise dampening if it's not on the first floor).
posted by charmcityblues at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd guess that you're just doing kind of space-planning, programming or some sort of feasibility study at this point, because to actually build whatever you want to do you're going to have to hire some sort of design professional. Is that correct?

Can you talk to people (firefighters, police officers, anyone in the command structure) about the requirements they need for their functions? Can you find out from the fire division that will be going into the building what sort of apparatus they use? There's a good chance that somewhere in the department files are complete lists of everything that will need to be provided in their stations, and you're probably going to have to run it by the brass of the departments at multiple points in the process anyway. It kind of sounds like you're actually employed by the fire department yourself - can you call around to other stations to see what they have?
posted by LionIndex at 6:40 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

It seems logical to start with their fitness standards and preferred training methods (would probably get fewer complaints later). 2nd including low impact cardio options; for foot/ankle things, stationary bike (why not?) and/or rower are better than treadmill. Also, adequate shower facilities for men and women.

How many people do you estimate would be using the room at any given time (what are their schedules like)? How big is the room? How much money have you got? How much will you need to budget for maintenance? It sounds like things might get cramped.. just an idea - is there a well-equipped community centre or university gym in the area? (Thinking here about pool access, great for rehab.) If yes, what about, as a complementary resource to your bare-bones gym, negotiating special group memberships with one of those (maybe, with the support of their union and/or insurer)?
posted by nelljie at 8:38 PM on April 12, 2013

Response by poster: We've got a building in the works, my job is to provide the dimensions of the room, and justify this suggestion with the equipment list and reasons for that equipment.

Our department has 25-50 members, mostly volunteer, depending on the time of the year, and we have 4 full time police officers and 1 additional seasonal officer. My town is quite small, there is no pool, and little possibility for a pool. The room I am proposing would need to accomodate 4 people exercising at a time, and have space for the Police to perform takedown drills. I am definitely looking for low impact equipment, but I know many of our members will actually USE a treadmill.

On a similar note, I have been tasked with coming up with a suggested fitness routine, as there is currently none at our department and for some reason the Chief thinks that I am the most fitness minded.

Right now I think we need:
1 Treadmill
1 Eliptical
1 Stationary bike
1 10'x10' dedicated space for takedown drills & yoga, Insanity, P90X, etc.
A set of free weights and one bench.
1 Hang board
And most importantly, enough room to move around the equipment when people are using it.

I will be heading down to Seattle and Chicago, and may stop by departments while I'm there to see what equipment they use.

Thanks for the input so far
posted by maleru at 12:16 PM on April 15, 2013

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