This February, challenge your department members to get screened and know their risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. Being a first responder puts you at increased risk for many health concerns, including heart attack. The strenuous duties of emergency response places increased demands on firefighters' bodies, which may not be physically prepared for the strain. It is important for you to know your risk factors – professional, lifestyle, and hereditary – so you can take the necessary steps to prevent a serious illness before it happens. Once you know your risks, you can work with your doctor or healthcare provider to develop a wellness plan that is right for you.
To encourage your department members, try sending out weekly emails with success stories of individuals who caught a disease in the early stages through health screenings. Send out information on the types of screenings recommended for different age groups. Organize a group to attend a free local screening event (such as the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program booth at a trade show). Set up a bulletin board with risk factor and screening guidelines information. Find more resources and information on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.
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