OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The First Responders Foundation has started not one, but two new programs for free to help improve the mental and physical health of first responders and their families.
There are plenty of gyms to choose from, but not many where you are able to work out with people who are in the same line of work as you who understand your struggles and who are there to help push you to be the best you can be.
The First Responders Foundation is offering free workouts on Saturday mornings.
"It's just a way for us to kind of give them a place to work out, build a little bit of a community, build a bond," said Adam Tripp, director of physical wellness at the First Responders Foundation.
They invite all first responders and their families to join.
"They are trying to take care of a household, take care of maybe the kids, and they have their own careers and be that shoulder also for that first responder. So we really reach out to them and let them know that hey, this is a place for you also," said Tripp.
However, it's more than just a free workout, it's a safe place to talk and ask questions for those that see a lot of hard things during the week.
"It's a place where maybe after the workout they can talk and maybe discuss some issues that they may be having where they feel a lot more comfortable talking to one of their peers as opposed to just some random stranger," said Tripp.
Another brand new class is the free police jujitsu training.
"Officers often only get one full day a year of training for arresting someone who may be combative towards them. Just like we wouldn't expect a high school wrestler to go into practice one day a year and then go to a meet. We can't expect police officers to do the job well unless they have to continue ongoing education on how to arrest people on how to keep themselves safe, but also in a way that is nonviolent and keeps the suspect safe as well," said Brian Bonfias, police Jujitsu instructor at the First Responders Foundation.
Similar training was done at a police station in Marietta, Georgia, and so far, it has seen a major impact from this training.
"Injuries to a suspect were 53% less likely to occur with a BJJ trained officer, and an officer was 59% less likely to engage in the use of force at all with weekly ongoing continuing Brazilian Jujitsu training," said Bonfias.
It doesn't matter the training, it's the sense of community and reiterating that they're all in this together.
These classes are free to any first responder in our area, not just police officers in Omaha.
Visit the Free Weights & Freedom program Facebook page here.
Visit the First Responders Foundation's Facebook page here.