Page 8 - HOT NEWS_DEC_2014
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Spotlight on: Fitness and By Bill Pirrie
Although I am the health and fitness advisor for the Service I also run a Sport injury clinic. I would like to share with you one of the protocols I use. It is called muscle activation. These techniques were developed by a Physiotherapist from South Africa called Douglas Heel. I have attended several courses with Douglas when he has been in the UK. The key teaching on his courses is about muscle balance and firing sequences and when we don’t have the correct sequence this can cause muscles to compensate which in turn affects performance and can also cause injuries.
I have been utilising these techniques in my clinic for about 18 months and I am getting amazing and instant results. I have been working with sportspeople at all levels and also firefighters who are into sport. The feedback I am getting is they feel their posture has improved and they have improved performance.
One of the people I have treated is Firefighter Andrew Bennett, who is a keen and proficient cyclist.
This is his feedback:
Andrew said: “I am a racing cyclist and coach and I still compete in road races and time trials around the
country. In the past couple of seasons my times have dropped off slightly and I occasionally suffered lower back pain in longer events and training rides. Chatting to Bill, he suggested that I might benefit from some muscle activation treatment, so we set up the treatment table and Bill did his initial assessment.
“Straight away it was clear that the muscles controlling my hip movement were not firing properly, specifically the psoas and glutes. Bill then carried out some activation techniques and instructed me not to cry if it got too painful.
“After the treatment we then reassessed the movements and there was immediate improvement. This was reinforced on my next training ride as I quickly felt that the muscles were now working fully and in the correct sequence. I can only describe it as I was only riding on 3 cylinders before the treatment.
“Bill also showed me a short sequence of activation techniques that I can do myself to ensure everything carries on working correctly.”
A search involving our Service’s Search and Rescue dog Belle, who is trained to find people trapped in rubble and buildings, was carried out after two neighbouring unoccupied buildings collapsed.
The buildings, thought to be former shop premises with unoccupied flats above, were at the junction of King Street and Rudgrave Place, Wallasey. Two fire appliances from Wallasey and Upton community fire stations were called out along with our Service’s Search and Rescue Team.
The dog Belle was deployed by canine handler Watch Manager Jo Stephens to the site and a cordon was put in place around the scene by Merseyside Police.
Station Manager Tony Brown said: "Working with firefighters and the Search and Rescue Team, the Search and Rescue dog
Belle carried out two searches of a rubble pile after two, three-storey unoccupied terraced buildings suffered a total collapse. Information was also gathered at the scene to check that no passers-by were on the pavement near the buildings when the collapse occurred. We also checked with Wirral Council to make sure these buildings that had collapsed were not occupied.
“Search and Rescue dogs are a valuable tool to use in these situations as they can cover areas where buildings have collapsed where it would be dangerous for rescuers to go into. Our search dogs work quickly and train every day to ensure they are ready to respond to incidents of this nature."
Our Service was called at 7.38pm on Wednesday, November 12. Firefighters had left the scene just before midnight.
Photos supplied by Bill Pirrie.
Bill re-testing the function of psoas after the activation technique.
Bill performing the muscle activation for the Psoas muscle (hip flexor).

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