NVFC Health and Safety Committee Participates in Focus Group on Firefighter Health
|Wednesday, 06 May 2009|
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Health and Safety Committee participated in a firefighter health focus group as part of a research project partnership between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) and the NVFC. The NVFC Health and Safety Committee is comprised of NVFC Board Members, who are fire service leaders from around the country. The focus group met on March 31 in Alexandria, VA, in conjunction with the NVFC Spring Board Meeting.
In 2008, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded a $1 million grant to JHSPH to complete a three-year research project in collaboration with the NVFC. The goals of the project are to identify modifiable barriers to implementing wellness and fitness interventions among firefighters and fire departments and to develop and test a pilot intervention. The March 31 meeting was the first focus group of the study.
Currently there is a lack of information regarding potential barriers and facilitators to wellness and fitness interventions targeting firefighters. This research is needed to fill the gap in knowledge and develop programs and strategies that work. The researchers are working to understand firefighter’s beliefs about health, wellness, and fitness and identify the barriers and facilitators of implementing effective wellness programs for firefighters at the national, regional, departmental, and individual levels. Once the barriers and facilitators have been identified, a pilot program will be developed. Since the information to create the program will be taken from firefighters, it should have a considerable impact on firefighters.