Safety, Health and Survival Week 2010 begins June 20
Firefighters spend their lives looking after the safety of residents in their communities, but during Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week — also known as Safety Week — the focus turns to their own health and welfare. Sponsored by the Fairfax, Va.-based International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the Washington-based International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Safety Week runs June 20-26, during which time fire departments are asked to make a concentrated effort to implement wellness and fitness programs.
More than 50 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths are caused by health- and fitness-related issues, according to IAFC and IAFF. The theme for this year’s event is “Fit for Duty,” which will cover a variety of topics that the two organizations consider very important to all firefighters and EMS personnel. While departments are encouraged to identify activities tailored to their specific needs, recommended areas of concentration include general health and wellness; food and nutrition; fitness; stress management; smoking and smokeless-tobacco cessation; alcohol and other drug use; infectious diseases; and suicide prevention. A sample daily-activity schedule, FAQs, a press release template and other health and wellness resources will be available on the Safety Week website.
During the week, departments also are encouraged to support comprehensive, non-punitive fitness assessments, medical screenings and educational programs that build and maintain medically and physically fit personnel, and help in reducing health- and fitness-related deaths or injuries.