USFA, NVFC Release Volunteer Fire, Emergency Services Guide

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), working with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), has issued a revised Health and Wellness Guide for the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services.

The guide now provides updated information on health and wellness issues, trends, and programs focused on the needs of the volunteer fire service. The document addresses fitness, including aerobic exercise, flexibility, strength training, diet, smoking cessation, and other areas that will have a positive impact on volunteer firefighters.

"This partnership to improve the health and wellness of the volunteer fire service will support reducing the primary cause of on-duty deaths in the volunteer fire service--heart attack and stress," said Dr. Denis Onieal, acting assistant administrator. "Effective health and wellness programs will also be expected to contribute to operational effectiveness of volunteer fire departments as well as serve as a valuable retention and recruitment instrument."

USFA said the prevalence of cardiovascular illness and deaths and work-inhibiting strains and sprains among firefighters illustrates the need for a comprehensive health and wellness program in every department. Yet, department leaders often struggle to implement a program due to a variety of reasons, including resistance or lack of motivation from members, the costs associated with implementing a program, and the lack of well-defined requirements.

"With heart attack, overexertion, and strain causing more firefighter deaths and injuries than any other cause, it is critically important for departments and personnel to focus on health and wellness," said Philip C. Stittleburg, NVFC chairman. "The NVFC is pleased to partner with the USFA to create a guide to help departments develop life-saving health and wellness initiatives and overcome the obstacles to a successful program."

The guide demonstrates ways to overcome these obstacles, and provides direction for developing and implementing a department program. It also highlights several existing health and wellness programs and how they have maintained their success over time. Originally released in 1992 and updated several times, the 2009 version includes new information and resources to help departments ensure the health and well-being of their members.

To view the guide, go to www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_321.pdf.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue