About us

Kim Favorite

Legacy Member

Kim Favorite retired from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) in 2018 in the position of Occupational Health & Fitness Coordinator, Strategic Advisor, General Governance after 28 years of service as a civilian member of the department. Over the course of her career, Kim was involved in developing and implementing all aspects of SFD’s health and wellness programming. Her roles and responsibilities evolved rapidly across her tenure in lock-step with the growth in the field of fire service health, wellness, and fitness. To provide a few examples of her member-facing roles, she worked directly with SFD fire fighters implementing fitness programs, supported return-to-work programs, and delivered annual fitness assessments while constantly making sure relevant, current information was published online and readily available for all first responders. As the Peer Fitness Trainer Coordinator, she also directly supported others who provided services to members, and in this capacity developed programming, education, and resources to support the development and operations of the department’s PFT team. Additionally, Kim served in a variety of management and strategic roles, which became her main focus towards the end of her career. She was SFD’s project manager on occupational health and fitness projects, advised department administrators on job specific occupational health and fitness law, rules, standards, policies, and procedures, and directed the development and implementation of programs, database management, and cost accounting for occupational health and fitness activities.

In addition to her work at SFD, Kim has made substantial and lasting contributions to the field of fire fighter health and wellness across her career. As a technical advisor to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for 11 years starting in 1995, she was part of the original group of stakeholders who established the Fire Service Joint Labor-Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI), the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), and the Peer Fitness Trainer (PFT) program. She facilitated spreading this information by establishing the NW Regional Fire Service Wellness Coordinators group supporting members from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, which in 2023 has over 70 members from over 45 fire departments. She has also been a consultant and subject matter expert (SME) for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) since 2010 collaborating to produce such notable works as the Department’s Guide to Implementing NFPA 1582, the Emergency Services Road Map to Health and Wellness, FSTAR Wellness Fitness Fact Sheets, and the Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Medical Evaluations. She continues her collaborations into retirement, most recently working as a SME with Richard Miller at the IAFC on a joint project with the IAFF exploring best practices in implementing the WFI, that was completed in 2022.

Kim has been a sought-after SME and consultant to various other Local, State and Regional fire organizations as well as an invited speaker at numerous conferences and symposia dedicated to fire fighter health and wellness. Kim has also been a dedicated knowledge translator, and researcher throughout her career. She has authored, co-authored or contributed to numerous publications in all areas of fire fighter health and wellness, including four, peer-reviewed published studies. Kim was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the IAFF on two Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety grants (2005) A Proactive Approach to Reducing and Prevention of Fire Service Injuries, and the Recruit Orientation to the WFI. For her years of dedicated service both to SFD and the fire service at large Kim has received numerous honors, including the Meritorious Service Award from the Seattle Fire Department in 2015, and the IAFC’s Health, Safety, and Survival Chairman’s Award for Excellence in 2014. She continues her work supporting fire fighters up to today as the President & CEO of the Northwest Fire Fighter Fitness Foundation.

Physical activity and exercise have always been a very important part of Kim’s life. At a very young age she participated in competitive sports, including swimming, diving, gymnastics and track and field, being a nationally ranked high jumper throughout high school and college. Due to a major injury in college Kim re-directed her ambitions and became a pioneer, in 1975, as one of the first female Certified Athletic Trainers, which lead her to a role as the Head Athletic Trainer for the University of Hawaii; the first women to hold that position. In 1977, she left the University of Hawaii for California to co-found, and subsequently manage the ATHER Sports Injury Clinic. This endeavor was paramount in preparing her for her career as wellness and fitness professional in the fire service. In 1986, Kim culminated her career as an Athletic Trainer when she assumed the role as the first Head Athletic Trainer for the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team.

Since retiring from SFD Kim maintains a very physically active lifestyle and enjoys participating in a variety of activities including Yoga, Tai Chi, resistance training with kettlebells, dumbbells, or bodyweight, and walking. Kim especially enjoys landscaping and yardwork, and active play with her dog at the dog park. Her motivation to stay active is for happiness and longevity with as little pain as possible! Kim has found that having a sense of purpose and setting realistic goals have helped her in her pursuit of personal wellness and fitness across her life. She also has found it important to cultivate the other dimensions of wellness such as building a resiliency mindset, eating a balanced diet, and having at least one good laugh each day. Lastly, keeping true to her passion for knowledge translation and research, Kim is a life-long learner, and credits this habit as a key force in helping her maintain and grow her personal wellness and fitness.

The principle piece of advice Kim would give to departments looking to invest in the wellness and fitness of their members is to invest time and resources into creating a comprehensive implementation plan, and to understand that such a plan must be cultivated and modified in an on-going fashion as the department learns from their implementation efforts. Reflecting on the successes and obstacles she has experienced or observed across her career, Kim would identify many individual factors that departments should consider, such as, identifying and supporting champions, including wellness and fitness in budgeting horizons, and creating wellness-fitness committees. However, she would stress the importance of having all department stakeholders buy into a plan which integrates these and other factors. To individual fire fighters with the desire to invest in their wellness and fitness, Kim’s advice can be summarized briefly: “Be proactive!”. She would encourage fire fighters to get annual medical, fitness, and stress evaluations, and if their department doesn’t already offer these to find an outside professional who understands or is willing to learn about fire service work. In terms of establishing or maintaining a physical activity and exercise practice she would impress on fire fighters the importance of determining their why. Understanding why they aren’t currently active, or why they are, can be a powerful tool for directing person-specific actions that can get the fire fighter on track with meeting their wellness and fitness goals.


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