The NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program launched the Health and Wellness Advocate program to combat the leading cause of line-of-duty firefighter deaths – heart disease – by creating health and fitness advocates within fire/EMS departments. Participants learn basic principles behind developing a sound health and fitness program and how they can become advocates for health and wellness within their department. As Health and Wellness Advocates, they will encourage and motivate their fellow fire and emergency personnel to adopt heart-healthy behaviors.
In Person Workshop
The initiative began as a free two-day Health and Wellness Advocate Workshop taught by ACE-certified instructors from L&T Health and Fitness, an award-winning fitness and health management company. This in-person workshop mixed classroom components with hands-on learning to equip participants with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed as a health and wellness advocate. The workshop was presented at state conferences and fire schools across the country.
The NVFC has adapted curriculum from the Health and Wellness Advocate Workshop into five free online webinars. This innovative training gives first responders the foundation they need to live healthy, reduce heart disease risk factors, and implement successful department health and fitness programs. The webinars are taught by ACE-certified instructors from L&T Health and Fitness, an award-winning fitness and health management company.
On-demand training is provided using an online platform from McNeil and Company’s Emergency Services Insurance Program (ESIP). Course materials and certificates of completion are provided. To access these training webinars, click here and sign-in if you have an existing account, or register as a student using access code 6832.
The following courses are available:
FIRST DUE: Human Function and the Exercise Response
This course covers the basic anatomy and physiology of the body as it is applicable to movement. Firefighters will learn how the body is supposed to move and how exercise can help, or a lack of physical activity can impair, the body’s ability to perform under pressure, during stress, and environmental constraints such extreme temperatures.
THE ACCELERANT: Physiology of Weight Loss and Healthful Nutrition
This course reviews the effects of stress on the body, specifically as it relates to weight gain, and how to combat weight gain and hasten weight loss through fueling the metabolism to burn at a higher rate. The session also covers nutrition tips specific to fueling to metabolism with the right ratio components to accelerate the metabolic burn even more.
DIRECT ATTACK: Putting out the Health Risks and Increasing the Exercise Pump
This course covers the major risk factors for heart disease and teaches firefighters how to identify those risks and modify physical activity appropriately in order to help extinguish the occurrences of heart attacks and line-of-duty injuries. This course also helps the firefighter learn how to design safe exercise programs that can be implemented for the “probie” exerciser all the way up to the “chief” exerciser to increase the firefighter’s physical abilities in cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.
FULL INVOLVEMENT: Firing Up Your Program
The course helps firefighters take the lead as the Health and Wellness Advocate by establishing a sound action plan for their department’s Wellness Program. Participants will learn strategies to ignite full involvement – from their officers to their community – in the support and success of the program. This includes building a wellness team, creating an annual plan, establishing methods of gathering and evaluating data, and securing sponsors to support the health and wellness program.
EVOLUTION: Progressing through Functional Exercises to Improve Performance
This course takes firefighters' fitness training to a whole new level. Participants first learn the theories behind functional training and the importance of functionally-based exercises in their fitness programs. Participants will then have the opportunity to put their physical capabilities to the test by taking part in a functional exercise program (FEP) through an online video incorporated into the course. The FEP uses ten exercises that target specific firefighter movements and actions, and each exercise challenges 90 percent of the body to work.
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