Since the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program began in 2003, the program has provided numerous tools and resources to help first responders get and stay healthy. Below are some of the program highlights from over the years.
Trade Show Booth: The NVFC provided free health screenings, resources, and cooking and fitness demonstrations at conferences and trade shows across the country through its interactive trade show booth. Over 16,000 firefighters, emergency services personnel, and their family members have been screened for heart disease risk factors – such as bold pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and body composition – at the booth.
Resources: The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program has produced many resources to help firefighters know their health, take proactive steps towards lowering their heart disease risk factors, and implement a department-wide health and wellness program. These include the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide, Heart-Healthy Firefighter Cookbook, Securing Sponsors for Department Health and Wellness Programs toolkit, Addressing the Epidemic of Obesity in the United States Fire Service, monthly health and fitness challenge ideas, fitness demonstration videos, and much more.
Fired Up for Fitness Challenge: This motivational fitness challenge, which ran from 2005-2015, allowed firefighters and EMTs to log their hours of fitness and receive incentive rewards as they reached certain benchmark goals.
Health and Wellness Advocate Workshop: This workshop trains first responders to be advocates for health and wellness in their department. Participants learn the principles behind starting and implementing a successful department health and fitness program and how to encourage and motivate department members to adopt heart-healthy behaviors.
Health and Wellness Webinars: The NVFC has created a series of on-demand webinars to help first responders learn about critical health topics and the steps they can take to minimize their risks and stay heart strong. Online courses include: “Using Your Lifeline: Disease Management for a Stronger, Longer Life,” “Obesity in the Fire Service,” and “Functional Fitness for Firefighters.”
Safety Stand Down: The NVFC launched National Firefighter Health Week in 2007 to create awareness about a variety of health issues affecting first responders and encourage firefighters and EMS providers to focus on their health. In 2012, the week merged with the IAFC’s Safety Stand Down week to create one awareness event. Safety Stand Down occurs the third week of June each year and brings attention to critical fire/EMS health and safety topics. First responders are asked to suspend all non-operational activities during that week to focus their efforts on health and safety training and activities.