Healthy Heroes Work Out Year-Round

09HealthHeroesThe Forum Fitness Center of Lexington, North Carolina, loves its local EMTs, so last year it offered a membership discount to public safety workers through a program it calls Healthy Heroes.

"For $150, we offered a six-month membership and five personal training sessions," said Forum sales manager Cherubina Hicks. But that's not all. The Forum also hosted a Health and Public Safety Appreciation Day to honor the men and women who serve on the city's front lines. "We wanted to not only promote Healthy Heroes, but also to work with a charity that would benefit emergency service workers," Hicks said.

Instead of a charity, however, the Forum opted to offer a scholarship to a local student planning a public safety career. To raise money, Hicks planned a motorcycle charity ride with a $25 entry fee, and a $7-a-plate barbecue chicken dinner. "Unfortunately, we didn’t learn until later that a very popular restaurant in town was holding its charity event the same day," said Hicks. As a result, the Forum's scholarship event raised only $300 - but Hicks hopes the event will be better attended in the future.

Meanwhile, the Healthy Heroes promotion will continue, and Forum member and Davidson County medic Max Leihenseder, who works out at the gym, encourages colleagues to join him. "It's important we stay on top of our health because of the stress and physical requirements of our job," he said.

Other Forum members are glad he's there, too. Recently, one of them collapsed during a workout, and Leihenseder jumped into action. "He just passed out, so I stayed with him until the crews arrived and worked with them to get him stabilized," Leihenseder said.

"That's one of the reasons we wanted to give back to emergency workers," said Hicks. "They do so much to help us every day, but they never really get the thanks they deserve." 

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