Washington, D.C., May 24, 2005 - The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) recently brought their Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program to the 2005 Fire Expo. The show was held in Harrisburg, PA from May 20-22, 2005. Fire Expo is one of the largest fire service conferences in the nation, with more than 18,000 atendees from across the United States.
In addition to blood pressure and body composition screenings, the NVFC also provided cholesterol screenings. The cholesterol screenings, each took only about seven minutes to complete. Participants were given the opportunity to meet privately with a health counselor to discuss their test results. By the shows end, the NVFC had screened over 1,000 firefighters. Participants also received valuable information on lowering their cholesterol and blood pressure, nutrition, smoking cessation and more.
"This program has given firefighters the ability to find out for free whether or not they are at risk for a heart attack or stroke," said Scott Potter, NVFC Connecticut Alternate Director and Past President of the Connecticut Volunteer Firefighters Association who attended the show. "Many firefighters would not have access to this life saving information if not for this valuable program."
Also at the show, NVFC Past Chairman and Delaware Director Jim Monihan participated in a press conference sponsored by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) in Pennsylvania. Ed Mann, the State Fire Commissioner, organized the event to inform Pennsylvanians about the far too many line of duty deaths each year. The OSFC is working with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and other organizations to reduce line of duty deaths. 20 programs are currently scheduled to be presented in the state. Jim Monihan spoke at the press conference regarding the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program and our goal of reducing firefighter fatalities. NVFC is working closely with the OSFC to provide more information to individuals in the state. For more information on the OSFC initiative please visit www.osfc.state.pa.us.
In its second year, the NVFC's Heart-Healthy Firefighter program educates firefighters and the communities they serve about the risks of heart attacks and other heart-related dangers inherent to firefighting. The program has set an aggressive goal of reducing heart-related on-duty firefighter deaths by 25% by the year 2008.
The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide developed by the NVFC has already provided thousands of firefighters across the United States with valuable information on combating cholesterol and heart disease, as well as promoting better nutrition and overall physical fitness. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide is available at www.healthy-firefighter.org. This web site also offers other heart-healthy tools, including a medical history form that firefighters can print out and provide to their doctor.
For more information on the National Volunteer Fire Council's health and safety efforts, including the Heart-Healthy Firefighter program, contact Maggie Wilson, Director of Health & Safety, at 1-888-ASK-NVFC or 202-887-5700, or via e-mail at