NVFC To Launch National Firefighter Health Week

Friday, 27 July 2007

Firefighters not only battle fires and selflessly risk their lives for others, but they also battle a silent killer – heart disease. Heart attacks are the number one killer of fire and emergency personnel. In fact, nearly half of all on-duty firefighter deaths are attributed to heart attacks. According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, firefighters are at a greater risk of dying from a heart attack while responding to emergencies. These individuals are on the front lines, keeping our community safe in the wake of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. It is for this reason that we must all work to raise awareness about their health and ensure their well-being.

August 13-17, 2007 marks the inaugural National Firefighter Health Week. During this week, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), through its groundbreaking Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, will be reaching out through a week-long initiative to educate both the fire and emergency services community and the public not only on heart-health, but on a variety of other health and wellness issues.

"At the NVFC we are concerned not only about heart-health, but the entire health of the brave men and women who make up our fire and emergency personnel. Through our Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, we work to reeducate the public about the importance of nutrition, exercise, mental health and an overall healthy lifestyle," said Philip C. Stittleburg, Chairman of the NVFC.

Each day during National Firefighter Health Week will be dedicated to a different health issue. The Week kicks off on Monday, August 13, with behavioral health, followed by cancer, heart-health, nutrition and ending with lifestyle on Friday. Material will be available on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter web site at www.healthy-firefighter.org, and fire departments nationwide will receive related resources in the coming weeks.

"As we launch National Firefighter Health Week, we are eager to bring national awareness to this important and urgent health cricis within the firefighter community. We must work together to spread the word, save lives and protect our communities," said Stittleburg.

Please stay tuned to the Heart-Healthy Firefighter web site at www.healthy-firefighter.org for more information.



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