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Safety, Health and Survival Week 2010: Fit for Duty

Safety, Health and Survival Week 2010: Fit for Duty

Friday, 07 May 2010

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) have announced the theme for the 2010 Safety, Health and Survival Week (Safety Week): Fit for Duty. Safety Week, which will be held June 20-26, is a collaborative program sponsored by the IAFC and the IAFF and coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine, in partnership with more than 20 national fire service organizations including the National Volunteer Fire Council.

Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety Week and instead focus entirely on safety, health, and wellness-related training and education until all shifts and personnel have taken part. An entire week is provided to ensure each shift and duty crew can spend one day focusing on these critical issues.

Health and fitness-related issues cause about half of all firefighter line-of-duty deaths, and it is imperative that there be a concentrated effort in implementing wellness and fitness programs.

Safety Week’s Fit for Duty theme will cover a variety of topics that are extremely important to all firefighters and EMS personnel. The program will assist fire departments with implementing their own programs to prepare firefighters and EMS personnel with healthy habits that reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers, thereby increasing the chance for a longer and healthier life.

While departments are encouraged to identify activities tailored to their specific community, recommended areas of concentration include:

  • General health and wellness
  • Food and nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Stress management
  • Smoking and smokeless-tobacco cessation
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Infectious diseases
  • Suicide prevention

During the week, departments are also encouraged to support comprehensive fitness assessments, medical screenings, and educational programs that build and maintain medically and physically fit personnel and help in reducing health and fitness-related deaths or injuries.

Learn more and find planning tools and resources on the Safety Week web site. Find additional resources for health, wellness, and safety from the NVFC web site at www.nvfc.org/health_safety and the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

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