NVFC, Joe Montana Promote Heart-Health to Firefighters in Myrtle Beach

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Joe Montana (left of sign), Dr. James Rippe (right of sign) and Myrtle Beach Assistant Fire Chief Dan Cimini (far right) spoke about heart-health at the South Carolina Firefighters Association's annual conference.
As part of a national effort to raise awareness about high blood pressure and the increased risk of heart disease among firefighters, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and football legend Joe Montana traveled to Myrtle Beach for the South Carolina Firefighters Association's annual conference July 20-22. Montana is the spokesperson for Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation's BP Success Zone, which has partnered with the NVFC's Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program to educate firefighters about the importance of maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Over 1,000 firefighters attended a panel discussion featuring Montana, cardiologist James Rippe and Myrtle Beach Assistant Fire Chief Dan Cimini. Montana discussed his own battle with hypertension, which he was diagnosed with in 2002. He encouraged everyone at the session to stop by the NVFC's Heart-Healthy Firefighter booth to have their blood pressure checked. Rippe, who is also a spokesperson for the BP Success Zone, spoke about the "three-alarm call" in the battle against hypertension - a heart-healthy diet, regular physical activity and getting on the right medicine.

Several hundred firefighters had their blood pressure checked at the Heart-Healthy Firefighter booth. The screenings were provided free of charge by CareForce and North Greenville Fitness. Participants were entered into a raffle to win a 49'ers helmet autographed by Montana.

Firefighters are at a particularly high risk of hypertension due to the stress their hearts are under while fighting fires. Heart attack, which can result from high blood pressure, is the leading cause of firefighter deaths. The NVFC launched its Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program in 2003 in a proactive effort to reverse this alarming and preventable trend through proper fitness, nutrition and health education. For more information about the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, visit www.bpsuccesszone.com or call toll-free 877-GET-BP-DOWN.

The NVFC thanks the South Carolina Firefighters Association and Jim Bowie for their help in planning the Joe Montana event in Myrtle Beach. Stay tuned to the Heart-Healthy Firefighter website for the locations and dates of future Joe Montana appearances.



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