INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Fire Department is improving the recovery time for injured firefighters by working with local company ProTeam Tactical Performance.
Chief Kevan Crawley with the health and wellness division said firefighters receive specialized and exclusive training with athletic trainers rather than seeing a health care provider to get back to work quicker.
“We would see a lot of firefighters reinjured because they would get cleared by medical authorities saying you’re good to go and then they come back to work and have a reinjury,” Crawley said.
ProTeam Tactical Performance was cofounded by former Colts player Jim Sorgi to help public safety members.
“We thought it was obviously necessary and highly important for them to receive the same amount of care, the same type of care that a high-level athlete would receive,” Sorgi said.
Tim Drudge, ProTeam’s operations director, said the business has seen around 300 injured firefighters for a little more than a year at the health and wellness center at the fire department’s headquarters.
An injured firefighter still gets paid by the city. Crawley said the department has saved up to $1.5 million in medical, personnel and overtime expenses.
“Our average time off per injury in 2018 was just shy of nine days. Remember, a day for a firefighter is 24 hours. This year in 2019, we’ve seen that number drop to right around five days off. Well, if you do the math, it’s about $1,000 a day is how we calculate that, so we’re actually saving that amount of money because we’re getting people back to work,” Crawley said.
ProTeam Tactical Performance has partnered with the fire department for almost two years as part of a pilot program. The company hopes to continue working with injured firefighters.
“It’s very important to us that we give back to these heroes that are saving our lives everyday and that’s what really drives us everyday is to really give back to that community,” Drudge said.
The Indianapolis Fire Department’s Health and Wellness Center is relocating to a station in Franklin Township by summer.