Occupational Health & Safety

Too many firefighters are dying with lifestyle factors at least partly to blame.

2010 Fire/EMS Safety, Health, and Survival Week Nears

NIOSH is supporting IAFC in promoting it, and more than 20 fire service organizations are helping. This year's theme: Fit for Duty.

Daily exercise, eating the right foods at work and at home, and quitting smoking are good steps toward a healthier life for anyone. They're particularly important for firefighters and EMS workers because too many emergency responders in their ranks are not heeding these recommendations, and too many firefighters are dying with these lifestyle factors at least partly to blame.

NIOSH is supporting IAFC in promoting the 2010 IAFC Fire/EMS Safety, Health, and Survival Week, which takes place June 20-26, and IAFF is a co-sponsor. More tha n 20 national fire service organizations are helping. This year's theme: Fit for Duty, and it lasts a week so each on-duty unit and shift in a department can spend a day on these topics.

At the week's website, a 14-slide Wellness-Fitness PowerPoint presentation offers statistics supporting the week's message. A slide in the presentation indicates 28.9 percent of firefighter fatalities involve personnel younger than 40, and 38.8 percent of fatalities are not incident-related.

Departments are encouraged to concentrate their activities during the week on:

  • General Health and Wellness
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Stress Management
  • Smoking and Smokeless-Tobacco Cessation
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Suicide Prevention

The week is coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine.

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