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Craig Ross- 111 A-Shift. Firefighter since 2007.
We spend 25% of our lives at work. It is vital to have access to the same healthy lifestyle choices we have at home while on shift. Athletic performance is my main focus. I have coached many individuals from newbies to Olympians in competitive swimming; a truly gruelling pursuit. I am always amazed with an athletes grit and determination. I lead by example, because cheerleading only works short term. A person must have their own motivations and discipline to become better. I also prioritize nutrition as it seems to get increasingly more important as you age and can often be the strongest determinant of one’s health; I mean who wants to live to 95 if you feel like garbage every day? My favourite exercise is pull-ups, and my hobbies include swimming, biking, and mountaineering. My guilty pleasure is a good glass of scotch. Mood follows action, so don’t wait to take that first step in improving your quality of life!
Lars Bredahl- 115 A-Shift. Firefighter since 2005
Fitness is integral to our profession in order to be able to perform all the expected tasks safely and efficiently. Whether you just got hired or have been on for 20+ years there are certain things we should be able to do and maintain. I want everyone to keep each other safe and accountable. I have been a part of the fitness industry for over 20 years and I’m certified in various elements including nutrition, Olympic lifting, rowing, kettlebells, and crossfit. My favourite exercise is squats, my hobbies include swimming and biking, and my guilty pleasure is chocolate covered almonds! I am well versed in building strength, athleticism, and endurance- just be ready to work!
“We are a direct reflection of the expectation of our peers.”
Bronson Silva- Firefighter 104 A Shift Since 2019
Taking an interest in your health and fitness as a firefighter is paramount to preform the job specific tasks proficiently to best serve your community. Beyond that, it is so much more. We want every member of our department to stay healthy and injury free throughout their whole career, retirement, and to be able to do the things they love when they are off the clock. I started my fitness journey training to be bigger, faster, and stronger for football. This fuelled a passion for me, leading me to study kinesiology, take a plethora of health and fitness courses, and pursue a career in the industry. Everyone has a purpose in life, and I strongly believe mine is to help as many individuals as I can achieve optimal health and wellness both physically and mentally. Currently i’m coaching crossfit and weightlifting alongside personal training clients with over 6 years in the industry. If your goal is longevity and pain free movement throughout your career and retirement, weight loss, or any specific performance related fitness goal; please don’t hesitate to reach out! There are no stupid questions, and a simple phone call or message is the perfect place to start!
Vanessa Schabkar- 106 A-shift. Firefighter since 2019.
My fitness journey includes over 17 years of hockey; 10 years at an elite level as well as 5 years coaching at a high-performance level. I’m also certified in the IAFF WFI Fit to Thrive Program! I believe firefighter fitness is important to prevent injuries, promote career longevity and stay fit to perform your duties and support your crew. It is also important to have a high quality of life outside of the job as well. I understand everyone has barriers, and for me the most difficult aspect i’ve had to overcome fitness wise has been transitioning from training for a high-performance sport to training for everyday health and fitness as well as career specific training. I have also found it challenging trying to find a balance with shift work and finding the motivation and energy after shift to maintain a consistent workout routine. One of the hardest parts of health and fitness is just getting started. Regardless of where someone is starting from, I can provide coaching that is both motivating and in alignment with individual goals in a way that is simple and approachable. My favourite exercises are hang cleans and rear foot elevated split squats, and I have more recently been experiencing the benefits of walking as it is an especially helpful tool for recovery. My guilty pleasure is egg rolls! However, life is about balance so I do not feel guilty about it! People overrate intensity and underrate consistency, so let’s start building those healthy habits now!
Matt Russell- Station 118 B-Shift Firefighter since 2013
My background in fitness started with wanting to preform better in sports and play as high of a level as possible. Having played university level sports resulting in numerous trips to physiotherapy, my goals and ideals of fitness started to change. With wanting a career in firefighting, I focused my efforts on weightlifting, crossfit and mobility to be a more capable and injury free athlete. My goals as a PFT are to remain fit for duty, stay injury free and help as many of our Mississauga firefighters to do the same. With a history of coaching crossfit, knowledge of mobility and movement and an interest in program/ working development, I feel prepared to help the membership with any fitness needs they may have.
Mark Arnold- 117 B-Shift. Firefighter since 2006.
“Your body is the window through which you see the world” – I want to help firefighters get to the end of their careers injury free, happy and healthy.
Sometimes while at work you feel tired, but I’ve found that after exercising, not only are you more ready for the next call, but you also have more energy for the rest of the day. I understand some of you may feel stuck or you just don’t know where to start, but I assure you our team can help get you moving and feeling better.
I have been a fitness coach for many years and have helped coach hundreds of clients to reach their fitness goals such as strength gain, fat loss, or the ability to move better.
My favourite piece of equipment is the assault bike because of its simplicity and overall effectiveness. I train in the gym, so that I can continue to enjoy my days off mountain biking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter, I want to be fit to enjoy time with my family. On the other-side of the coin, I can’t resist a good piece of cheesecake!
Feel free to reach out – I’m here to help
Ali Ayoub- Station 119 B-Shift. Firefighter since 2021
Firefighting is a stressful job, and not only does fitness improve fire ground performance, it can also improve overall health, help with managing stress and anxiety, reduce risk of injury, boost immunity, and enhance resiliency. Exercise can improve your immune response, lower illness risk, and help you maintain a healthy weight. My own fitness journey consists of powerlifting, crossfit, Olympic lifting, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am a certified personal trainer and I love developing fitness regimes suitable for adding strength, muscle mass and promoting a functional body fit for the job.; along with keeping the members motivated and disciplined! My favourite exercise is the clean & jerk, as it is a compound movement that is very technical and requires explosiveness, strength, and resiliency. My hobbies include running, biking, hiking with my dog, and trying new sports/ activities. My guilty pleasure is a large t-bone steak and all you can eat Korean BBQ! The clock is ticking. Let’s start today!
“Every day is an opportunity to improve yourself. A little progress adds up to big results.”
Tim Oliver- Station 117 B-Shift. Firefighter since 2017
Firefighter fitness is important in my opinion because our job is physically demanding and we are more susceptible to occupational health issues. I feel that I can motivate members and help them achieve their athletic performance goals based on my skillset. I have a background in road and mountain bike racing and have transitioned into stand up paddle and ocean canoe. Admittedly, very technical movements in the weight room have not ben my forte, however I have a very good understanding of cardiovascular performance and would love to help you get more fit. I love circuits that jack up my heart rate, and my hobbies include cross country skiing, cycling, paddling, surfing, and running. My guilty pleasure is anything sugary, and I believe that if you are living a healthy lifestyle you can definitely indulge from time to time in these sweet treats. Contact me anytime and lets get working! Consistency is the most important component of health and wellness, so do something and move every day!
Alex Possamai: Station 118 C shift Firefighter 2005
First and foremost, firefighter fitness is important because it’s a safety issue that makes you better at your job. The average task becomes faster, and you become less susceptible to injuries. It provides a good example to others and to your co-workers. I would say that my strength lies in motivating people
to become stronger and enhance their mobility, and I’m happy to help our members move in this direction. My professional and personal experience is in CrossFit. I have certifications in Olympic lifting and training, and I’ve owned multiple gyms from 2007 – 2019. A challenge that I’ve had to overcome is having to rehab my own injuries. I’ve escaped the trap of being “busy” by prioritizing my health and putting that first. In the gym you will find me Olympic lifting, and outdoors I’ll be chopping wood. My guilty pleasure is Hawaiian pizza!
“The more we sweat in training – the less we bleed in battle.”
Adam Sachs: Station 101 C Shift Firefighter since 2017
Fitness is important for our members because physical activity allows you to perform fire ground tasks without putting yourself or others at risk for injury. It doesn’t just help your physical health but also helps with your mental health as well. The biggest obstacle I can help people overcome is getting started. Sometimes the most difficult step is the first one, I can help anyone trying to find their starting point. My professional experience as a trainer includes 5 years as a boxing coach, 4 years as a strength coach, and 6 years working with baseball teams. In the gym you can find me doing a HIIT/circuit style workout, outside of the gym I’m snowboarding in the winter, and hiking in the summer. The biggest challenge I’ve faced with fitness and health is finding consistency with my diet; my guilty pleasure would definitely be Japanese food.
“Be proud of the small moments, they are what create the bigger picture.” -Unknown
Steve Giancola: Station 112 C shift Firefighter since 2006
Firefighter fitness is important for staying fit and having fun; your life depends on it. The biggest obstacle I can help our members overcome is finding motivation to be the best version of yourself. I have experience as the C-shift baseball Champion, and I’m an all-around sport enthusiast. The biggest challenge I’ve had to face in relation to fitness/wellness is starting. The beginning is always the hardest. Take it slow. At the gym you can find me circuit training; hitting those big muscle groups. Outdoors I enjoy Mountain Biking, Baseball, Hockey, and Pickleball. My guilty pleasure is peanut butter on anything!
“It doesn’t get easier, You get better & stronger.”
Brodie Grant: Station 120 D Shift, Firefighter since 2011
I became a WFI PFT because I believe fitness improves both physical and mental health as well as injury prevention. I’m here to help with motivation, athletic performance, and injury prevention. I have knowledge and experience with fitness, general training, physio, and a background in sports. When it comes to my fitness preference, I like to mix up my workouts to keep things fresh. My favourite exercises include cycling, weight training, yoga, and stretching. My guilty pleasures are pizza and burritos, and my biggest fitness challenge is running. Oh man do I hate running.
“Be Humble, Be Hungry, and Always Be The Hardest Worker In The Room” – D. Johnson
Bill MacGregor: Station 111 D shift. Firefighter since 2010
I feel that as a firefighter we have an obligation to both the public and our crews to be as physically capable as possible. The biggest problem I can help people over come is the ability to build resilience; helping to build our ability to complete uncomfortable situations both mentally and physically. My personal and professional experience includes being a Level 2 track and field coach with 10 years+ coaching experience, CrossFit level 1 coach with 5+ years experience, Gym Jones fully certified instructor, Wolf brigade kettlebell, mace and odd object course, and Concept2/ dark horse rowing indoor erg course. An area of fitness/wellness that has become challenging is the fight between knowledge and social media; convincing people that simple consistent work will provide better results than flashy one-off workouts. In the gym you will find me doing a steady state or long type aerobic workout vs the outdoors where I enjoy running and skiing. My guilty pleasure is chips!“Consistency is King”
Sean McCullough: Station 120, D Shift Firefighter
Firefighter fitness is important because you need to be fit and healthy to do the job. Your health and fitness is even more important off the job and to be able to enjoy your retirement; stay healthy and stay safe. I am here to help our members with their total health. An area I’ve personally struggled with and had to overcome is flexibility/mobility, and I am continuously working on this area to help reduce and prevent injuries. In the gym I enjoy HIIT (High-intensity interval training), and outdoors I prefer Mountain biking, hockey, and skiing. My guilty pleasure is everything!
“I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone always says they have to work a lot harder when I am around” – Homer Simpson
Victoria Randles- Firefighter 101 D Shift Firefighter since 2019
My lifelong interest in fitness started when I was figure skating competitively at the age of 7. I learned the importance of having a strong awareness and connection with your body, the value of discipline, and the therapeutic benefits that exercising can provide. I was educated in the necessity of injury prevention, and recovery measures to ensure I wouldn’t lose any time on the ice. As firefighters we can all relate to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding injury wether on or off the job. My experience varies from competitive powerlifting/ strong woman, bodybuilding, and running; to mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Although I have a wide range of interest and experiences, my formal training is in yoga and meditation. MY true love is helping people slow down, connect with themselves, and identify what is truly important to them to help shape their fitness goals. Fitness, mental health, and a positive view of self are one-in-the same for me; reach out If I can help you in any part on your journey!
Dwayne Mckinley- Training Officer since 2021. Firefighter since 2005.
As firefighters, staying on top of our fitness keeps us safe for work, life, and play. I have an extensive health and fitness journey, from injury to triumph. I’ve come back from a traumatic brain injury, elbow surgery, and a major back surgery. Progress over perfection is something I often remind myself. These challenges have made me well versed in slowly progressing back to work and play, where I’ve completed 17 marathons, 2 Ironman triathlons, and competed as a masters powerlifter. I am also an avid cyclist. I love to encourage people and help them grow as complete people; mentally, physically, and spiritually. My favourite exercise is the squat, and my guilty pleasure is pizza and cookies.
Andrew Halbert- MFES Mechanical Division since 2017
Whether you are saving lives, educating the public, preventing fires or simply looking after all the emergency equipment to do so, we are all here to serve and contribute to the protection of the people of Mississauga. I feel we should all be in the best possible physical health and “firing on all cylinders” whilst serving our city and returning home to our loved ones. “Imagine that you had a car and that was the only car you’d have for the rest of your entire lifetime. Of course, you’d care for it well, changing the oil more frequently than necessary, driving carefully, etc. Now, consider that you only have one mind and one body. Prepare them for life, care for them” I’m big on motivation and inspiration as I feel peoples health and fitness goals change consistency throughout their life, and the hardest part for most people is either change, ambition, taking action, consistency and discipline. After we address these crucial factors in the mindfulness of keeping active everything exercise related can be taught, changed and adapted as the individual requires for their fitness goals. I’m sure we all know, getting older sucks!! As we get busier in our lives, with our family/work and personal life all keeping us busy, as well as accumulating work/play injuries along the way, it becomes harder and harder to keep those our health and fitness goals on track, so for me it’s knowing how to keep balance in my life and knowing that not one singular component is more important and that every part is just as important as the next to live a full long happy life with those you love. I believe in eating as clean as you can whilst having as much balance in your life as possible, so yeah grab your favourite pleasure food and balance it out with some nutritional substance to support good health and then sweat out all those toxins with some good cardio. Life is for live Ig, balance is key!! A good hit cardio that works the full body is my favourite type of exercise as it keeps everything alive and functional, a perfect exercise to keep us healthy all the way into our 90’s. My hobbies include soccer in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.
Jeff Jones- Fire prevention B-Shift.
Having the ability to perform the physical demands of the job, as well as keeping your mental health in check are very important for members of the fire department. A barrier I’ve noticed is motivation; especially with prevention and risk reduction staff due to the fact that all staff are working independently. I am motivated and dedicated to help you hit you move more, and move better! “Keep fit and have fun” is a quote I follow in my everyday life, as my fitness journey often takes me out of the weight room and onto the field, rink, the great outdoors. I love doing yoga, playing hockey and soccer, and my guilty pleasure is pizza and anything fried. Message me anytime and we can turn health and fitness into a fun hobby!