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NVFC to Receive DHS Grant for Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program

NVFC to Receive DHS Grant for Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program

Tuesday, 01 February 2005

WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2005 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration (USFA) today announced that the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has been awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety grant as part of the FY 2004 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The grant will fund year three of the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program which aims to reduce firefighter fatalities from heart-related problems.

"The leading cause of death for this nation's firefighters is heart attack," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. "We are grateful to DHS for their willingness to partner with us to continue the effort to reduce the unacceptable loss of these brave men and women who are falling while serving their communities."

According to USFA, in 2004, 110 on-duty firefighters died in the line-of-duty. Stress and overexertion, usually resulting in heart attacks, continued to be the leading cause of fatal injury, accounting for over half of the fatalities. More than half of these heart-related deaths were volunteer firefighters.

Thanks to this grant, the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program will launch Phase Three, in which NVFC will broaden the scope of the program. The program will travel across the country to several national fire service trade shows, as well as various state fire association conferences. Besides continuing the no-cost health screenings that the program currently offers, there will be many new opportunities to assist firefighters on the road to a heart-healthy lifestyle. The program will also introduce many new and exciting programs to benefit firefighters in the areas of fitness, smoking cessation and more.

The funds are a part of the 2004 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. This portion of the AFG program was open to national, state and regional organizations and associations. Priority is given to projects focusing on the prevention of fire-related injuries to children. Many of these awards represent innovative solutions for the delivery of fire prevention activities throughout the United States. A list of all current 2004 Fire Prevention and Safety grant award recipients announced to date is posted on the DHS website at: http://www.firegrantsupport.com/fps/awards/.

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