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The Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) received the Most Fit Company Award from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning during the HealthSmart Breakfast at the Gainesville Civic Center. The Sheriff’s Office was the recipient of the award in the large company category (251+ employees).
According to officials with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, judging criteria for the award included wellness, nutrition and fitness opportunities for employees.
Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch was commended during the awards ceremony for implementing a Physical Ability Assessment (PAA) earlier this year in an effort to improve the overall health and readiness of the HCSO workforce. The PAA is required for all sworn deputies and certified jailors and must be taken annually. It will also be required of all new hires prior to an offer of employment.
“Implementing a physical fitness program means lower insurance rates for the county, a reduction in work injuries and worker's compensation claims, improved job performance, lower absenteeism, and longevity for the officers,” Sheriff Couch said. “A physically fit officer is better prepared to respond to dangerous situations when protecting the citizens of Hall County.”
Unlike typical physical fitness tests, the Sheriff’s Office PAA includes drills that are comparable to what an officer is likely to face in the field. The assessment includes running up stairs, a simulated pat-down and dragging a 150-pound dummy.
Couch tapped Hall County Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Cochran to oversee the fitness initiative. In addition to the physical assessment, Cochran is also working with members of law enforcement to make positive nutrition choices and implement overall changes to their diets.