Optimizing Performance at Fires and Emergencies in the Cherry Hill NJ Fire Department


In the Spring of 2022, the Leadership Under Fire Team launched an Optimizing Human Performance Program with the Cherry Hill NJ Fire Department. The program strives to equip fire officers, firefighters and EMS providers with a comprehensive understanding of human performance, particularly under stress in high-risk settings. The immersive LUF human performance course is being delivered to the Cherry Hill FD in three iterations. Each iteration consists of 40 hours of immersive curriculum that rigorously explores physiological performance under operational stress, cognitive function and decision-making in high-risk settings, mental skills and conditioning, as well as responsible stress inoculations. The final block is devoted to a provocative examination of what science, history and experience inform us about risk and resilience.

Course advisors and contributors include several fire service leaders as well as human performance thought-leaders in the military, sport and academia. The Cherry Hill NJ fire department is the third fire department in the US to advance performance in programmatic fashion–they join the FDNY and the Milwaukee FD in this endeavor. Lieutenants Zach Houck and Timmy Moore serve as the human performance program managers for the Cherry Hill FD. The LUF team is proud of our relationship with the Cherry Hill FD and Philadelphia FD, as we continue to work together to humanize the narrative around performance at fires and emergencies.