Survey Shows Firefighters Find Heart Disease More Challenging than Fires

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cardioviva™ Launches Search for Heart Health Champions During International Fire/EMS Health & Safety Week

Despite facing life-threatening situations everyday as part of their jobs, a new survey of National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members shows the vast majority of firefighters have a greater fear of suffering injury or death from a heart attack and find heart-disease prevention – eating healthy and exercising – more difficult than putting out a blaze.

These fears are grounded in reality. Heart attacks are the leading cause of on-duty firefighter deaths in the United States. That’s why Cardioviva™, the first natural probiotic that has been clinically proven to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels in adults, is launching a heart health “search and rescue” mission during International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week June 16-22.

Through August 21, the Search is on for three Cardioviva™ Heart Health Champions:  firefighters and EMTs who are motivated to battle high cholesterol with diet and exercise. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 for his or her firehouse and a firehouse nutrition and fitness makeover valued at $5,000. Two first prize winners will each receive $5,000 and a $2,500 nutrition and fitness makeover for their firehouses.

“This survey showed that four out of five firefighters know at least one fellow firefighter who has suffered a heart attack, so it’s not surprising that nine in 10 say they could be doing a better job of eating healthy and staying physically active,” said Phillip C. Stittleburg, NVFC Chairman. “Heart disease is a big concern and they are looking for guidance and inspiration on how to find time in their busy schedules for staying healthy.”

Cardioviva™ is asking volunteer firefighters and EMTs to share their personal stories about how they are motivated to battle – or have successfully battled – high cholesterol with diet and exercise. To enter the Search for the Cardioviva™ Heart Health Champions, submit stories and a photo online via Facebook at

The Search for Cardioviva™ Heart Health Champions will be judged by public voting and a panel of heart health, fire, and nutrition/fitness celebrities and experts. The contest’s aim is to help inspire fellow fire service professionals, their communities, and consumers to make heart-healthy diet and lifestyle changes.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Heart Health Champions and their volunteer firehouses,” said Chris Mohr, RD, PhD, a nutrition and exercise physiology expert who will oversee the fitness and nutrition makeovers. “I think we’ll be able to learn a lot from each other and find exciting ways to teach and inspire other firehouses, communities and consumers.”

Survey Results

Heart Disease - High Awareness and Concern

  • Three quarters (75 percent) of the surveyed firefighters/EMTs are more concerned about dying of a heart attack than in the line of duty
  • 93 percent are aware that that leading cause of firefighter fatalities is heart attack
  •  78 percent know at least one fellow firefighter who has suffered a heart attack

Big Challenge – Healthy Eating & Regular Exercise

  • 85 percent say it’s harder to eat healthy foods and exercise than to fight a fire
  • 84 percent feel it’s harder to exercise everyday than to fight a fire
  • 73 percent claim it’s a challenge to get access to healthy foods while at the firehouse
  • 62 percent say it’s a challenge to access exercise facilities while at the firehouse

Desire to do Better

  • 92 percent recognize they could do a better job with their overall diet, and improve the foods and beverages they consume every day
  • 88 percent feel they could do a better job with their daily exercise and improve their level of physical activity

About the Survey
The National Volunteer Fire Council and Cardioviva conducted an online survey of 478 active volunteer firefighters or EMTs between May 28 and June 2, 2013.

About Cardioviva™
Cardioviva™ is the first natural probiotic that has been clinically proven to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels in adults. Cardioviva healthy bacteria may help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in two ways:  by maintaining the amount of cholesterol the body produces and by maintaining the amount absorbed from food. Cardioviva is available in Canada and the U.S. at Walgreens and other major retailers. For more information, visit

About The Winning Combination
Founded in 1990, The Winning Combination Inc. is one of Canada’s leading Health and Wellness organizations with a focus on manufacturing and distributing natural health products and dietary supplements, such as Cardioviva. The Winning Combination works closely with local governing regulatory bodies to ensure our products are of the highest quality and are in regulatory compliance in the markets in which we operate. Learn more about The Winning Combination at and about Cardioviva at

About The National Volunteer Fire Council
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at


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