National Firefighter Health Week is August 14-20

Tuesday, 02 August 2011

Being a first responder isn’t an easy job. You wake up in the middle of the night, leave early from important events, and make many other sacrifices to keep your community safe. You know that you need to be ready whenever the next call comes in – and that you have to be at your physical and mental best to tackle the challenges at hand. During National Firefighter Health Week on August 14-20, focus on what you can do to improve health and wellness and find resources and tools to keep you strong and ready to respond. As this year’s theme states, “When it comes to your health, you’re always on duty.”

National Firefighter Health Week is a week-long initiative held each August to educate the fire and emergency services community and the public about a variety of health and wellness issues that affect first responders. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), through its Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, launched the Health Week initiative in 2007 to create awareness around important health issues in the emergency services and encourage first responders to take action. Now in its fifth year, Health Week is expanding to a full seven days to allow more time for departments to focus on their health.

Each day during National Firefighter Health Week focuses on a different topic that leads first responders and their departments through the steps to achieving good health. Use the National Firefighter Health Week Resource Center to find information about each focus day as well as resources, tools, and activity ideas specific to each day's topic:

  • Sunday, August 14 - National Firefighter Health Week Kick-off
  • Monday, August 15 - CRISIS: Understanding the Risk - Increase awareness and understanding of health risks to firefighters and EMS personnel.
    This day is sponsored by TECGEN.
  • Tuesday, August 16 - DISPATCH: Get Support - Solicit buy-in from the community, department overhead, and family to improve first responder health.
  • Wednesday, August 17 - SIZE-UP: Make a Plan - Set goals and develop a plan of action to improve first responder health and wellness.
  • Thursday, August 18 - ATTACK: Take Action - Work with department and community partners to implement change in health behaviors.
  • Friday, August 19 - OVERHAUL: Live Life - Continue to practice healthy behaviors at the department and at home in the long-term.
  • Saturday, August 20 - Health Week Wrap-Up and Event Day - Organize or attend community events with family and friends that support your commitment to health and wellness. The NVFC has partnered with five Six Flags theme parks to offer a special discount for first responders in honor of Health Week. Visit for more details. If you live near a participating park, consider organizing a group trip with your personnel and families to help de-stress, get some exercise, and have fun! Your department could also host a community-wide sports event, a healthy meal fundraiser, and more. See this month’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter Challenge for more ideas.

In addition to the many tools and resources currently available in the National Firefighter Health Week Resource Center, exciting new resources will be added during Health Week including a new PPE webinar and videos on fitness and nutrition topics. You’ll also receive daily e-blasts throughout the week with tips and ideas for participating in that day’s focus theme.

The alarm is sounding – are you ready for the call? Rededicate yourself to your health and fitness routine or take the steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle during National Firefighter Health Week. On behalf of the millions of Americans you protect every day, thank you – and stay healthy and safe out there.


Media Room