Saturday, June 15

Atascocita firefighters trained with sumo wrestlers

June 4, 2023 – In an unprecedented move aimed at boosting efficiency and response times, the Atascocita Fire Department has turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: sumo wrestling. Lieutenant Keith Sagray of the Atascocita Fire Department revealed the department’s plan to incorporate sumo training techniques into their firefighting practices.

Lieutenant Sagray, explained the rationale behind the unique approach. Drawing parallels between sumo wrestling and firefighting, Sagray highlighted the shared elements of opposing resisting forces and driving against them. He expressed the hope that by studying sumo’s fundamental principles, firefighters could improve their ability to advance and flow while facing significant resistance and carrying heavy equipment.

The weight and physical demands placed on firefighters were also emphasized. Sagray pointed out that a fully kitted firefighter could carry an additional 150 pounds on top of their body weight. When factoring in the weight of gear, tools, and water-filled hoses, the resistance faced during firefighting operations could exceed 600 to 700 pounds. Observing sumo wrestlers effortlessly pushing against opponents weighing similar amounts, Sagray believed that tapping into their techniques could yield valuable insights for the fire service.

The integration of sumo principles into firefighting goes beyond handling water and equipment. Sagray emphasized that tasks such as rescues and extrication require firefighters to employ similar mechanics, utilizing footwork, low center of gravity, and coordinated muscle groups.

While the approach may seem unorthodox, Sagray praised the willingness of the men and women of the Atascocita Fire Department to step outside their comfort zones in pursuit of improved performance. Drawing an analogy to ballet’s incorporation into football training, he acknowledged the initial skepticism surrounding such novel methods but highlighted their eventual acceptance and success.

The fire department’s decision to explore sumo training demonstrates their commitment to serving the community and striving for excellence. Lieutenant Sagray expressed admiration for the firefighters who eagerly embraced the opportunity, even knowing they would face formidable opponents and endure physical challenges.


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