Hundreds of firefighters and emergency services personnel visited the National Volunteer Fire Council booth at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, IN, April 27-29 to get health screenings, learn fitness techniques, eat heart-healthy food and meet NFL player Erron Kinney. The interactive booth promoted the NVFC's Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program.
"We were very pleased with the number of firefighters that came to the booth and learned the value of a heart-healthy lifestyle," said Maggie Wilson, Director of Health and Safety for the NVFC. "This was our biggest booth to date, and we were able to include all of the important components of the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program - health screenings, nutrition and fitness."
Attendees also had the opportunity to meet Heart-Healthy Firefighter spokesperson Erron Kinney, NFL player with the Tennessee Titans and a volunteer firefighter. Kinney, who volunteers with three departments and serves on the Tennessee State Fire Commission, autographed footballs and talked with attendees about firefighting, football and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The NVFC partnered with L&T Health and Fitness, an award-winning fitness management and health promotion company, to offer free screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. Almost 800 firefighters participated in the screenings. A counselor discussed the results with each participant and answered any questions.
Chef Kevin Harris of Food for Love, Inc. performed several cooking demonstrations over the three days and discussed how to prepare heart-healthy food. The demonstrations included gumbo, rice pilaf and red beans. Conference attendees sampled the dishes after each demonstration. The recipes are available on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program website: www.healthy-firefighter.org.
Quick Fit Products, LLC rounded out the booth with fitness demonstrations. Quick Fit Products is a partnership between Richard Bradley, the creator of the Quick Fit program and author of Quick Fit: The Complete 15-Minute, No-Sweat Workout, and L&T Health and Fitness.
Over half of all firefighter deaths are attributed to heart attack. The NVFC launched the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program in 2004 to reduce the number of firefighter deaths from heart attack. This is accomplished by promoting a healthier lifestyle and by providing firefighters with fitness, nutrition, cholesterol and other pertinent information to assist them on the road to becoming heart-healthy. To learn more about the program, visit www.healthy-firefighter.org. For information on the NVFC, visit www.nvfc.org.