2019 EMS10 Winner Profile: Bryan Fass

Bryan Fass became a paramedic to help people and found the helpers needed help.
Bryan Fass, ATC, LAT, CSCS, EMT-P (ret.)

Bryan Fass, ATC, LAT, CSCS, EMT-P (ret.), became a paramedic to help people and found the helpers needed help.

“His biggest goal was really to make a difference. He saw a need”¦ in an area that needed changing,” says Bryan’s sister, Debbie Wierzbicki.

Fass’ experience with fitness began in high school and continued into college where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training at Catawba College. During his time there, he worked on the sidelines during football games to treat injured players. In 2013, he was inducted into the Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame at Catawba College for his advancement of sports medicine and dedication to the profession. Fass held certifications as an athletic trainer and as a strength coach.

After completing college, Fass decided to pursue paramedicine to continue to help others and expand his knowledge base. While working as a paramedic, Fass noticed he could help other EMS providers learn to lift and move patients safer and easier, limiting injuries to providers and patients alike.

He founded Fit Responder in 2007 to shift the culture of EMS by reducing injuries in EMS providers, improve overall wellness, boost morale and build a fit for duty workforce.

Fit Responder grew into an evidence-based learning system to include classroom and virtual learning, learning materials and consultations with clients to improve overall wellness and reduce injury at their agencies. Fit Responder was not just regulated to EMS, but extended to the fire service, police agencies, and industrial clients as well.

Fass authored the Fit Responder book for use by departments and schools and built Fit Responder University, an online learning management system.

Fass was a consistent voice in the first responder community, speaking at conferences across the United States, and writing for several trade journals in the public service industry. His passion for sharing knowledge and helping others gain health and wellness was evident to all who met him.

“Bryan was Fit Responder,” recounts Jon Dunham, one of Fass’ closest friends. Dunham described Fass as dedicated and impassioned when discussing the safety and wellness of first responders during their many shifts together as paramedics.

Fass suddenly died on Sept. 16, 2019, leaving a great chasm in the lives of his loved ones and across the first responder community.

Two scholarships honor Fass’ memory are being awarded in the near future. Fass’ family started The Bryan Fass Memorial Scholarship which will be awarded to a graduating senior who plans to study exercise science, athletic training, or a related field. It will be presented at the high school where he graduated.

The National EMS Safety Summit, where Bryan was on the planning committee, is offering the Bryan Fass Scholarship to cover registration to the conference for an individual dedicated to the wellness of EMS providers.

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