Fitness expert says York’s firefighter tests should be the standard

On most days, the Toronto Fire Academy is a make-believe substitute for the real world, where recruits can train in a controlled setting before taking up their duties. That was not the case Tuesday, when a 35-year-old recruit named Craig Weber collapsed with a heart attack during a routine stair-climbing workout, giving his classmates a sobering foretaste of the work that awaits them, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 9.

Norm Gledhill, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, is renowned for his work in developing fitness standards, including firefighter tests, and said age alone should not be used to exclude candidates. “There are people who keep themselves extremely well,” said Gledhill, who has been asked to study whether firefighters should be cleared to work past their traditional mandatory retirement age of 60. His answer is yes, with an appropriate fitness test.

At the same time, Gledhill is concerned about Toronto’s decision, a few years ago, to stop requiring recruits to have their fitness assessed at York University in favour of a less-stringent test developed in the late 1990s by a task force of North American fire chiefs and union officials.

The new test, called CPAT, for Candidate Physical Ability Test, requires recruits to haul less weight, even though courts have upheld the York test as fair. “People who often pass that test fail the York University test,” said Gledhill, adding that York has been lobbied, unsuccessfully, to drop its test and adopt CPAT. “We refuse to use it because I don’t think it’s a high enough standard.”

Nadal taking it one match at a time at York

For Rafael Nadal, who would be expected to meet Roger Federer with a championship on the line for the sixth time this year, the only guarantee is that he will play in the second round Wednesday, reported the National Post Aug. 9. “I never speak about the final before the Saturday night,” the world’s No. 2-ranked player said after defeating Nicolas Massu 6-3, 6-2, in his opening-round match at the Rogers Cup Tennis Champsionship Tuesday at the Rexall Centre at York University.

  • Major print and broadcast media continued reporting at length on the Rogers Cup and identifying the Rexall Centre at York University as the venue.

City of Waterloo hires York alumna

The City of Waterloo recently hired York alumna Marlene (Janthur) Coffey ( BA ‘91) as director of economic development. Coffey, 38, was born in Switzerland, where her Canadian father worked as a banker, and was raised in Toronto. She has a bachelor’s degree from York University in geography and urban studies and master’s degrees from the University of Waterloo in local economic development and in geography.

Predator denied house arrest

Convicted sex predator Philip Foremsky will cool his heels in jail another month as a psychiatrist studies why he broke bail so soon after his release from prison, reported The Toronto Sun Aug. 9. Judge Petra Newton Tuesday rejected lawyer Ian Kostman’s request to release Foremsky on house arrest. “There are no indications of any efforts by him to get rehabilitation,” the judge said, as the tattooed 24-year-old watched her in College Park court. After serving a five-year sentence for several assaults near York’s Keele campus, Foremsky, was re-arrested June 8 on marijuana charges. Foremsky’s hearing will reconvene Sept. 12.