Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Health & Safety

Florida Firefighters Lower Health Risks Through Weight Loss Program

Issue 4 and Volume 168.

By Todd J. Leduc and Sara A. Jahnke Jobs in the fire and emergency services are demanding both physically and mentally. There is wide agreement that these personnel need to have high levels of wellness and fitness so they are ready to respond at a moment’s notice to the wide range of fire, rescue, and emergency medical calls that transpire daily. Unfortunately, evidence suggests the fire service is plagued with high rates of overweight and obesity,1-6 low fitness,3,7,8 metabolic syndrome,7,9(p200) poor cholesterol profiles, 7,9,10 and high rates of cancer.11,12 Evidence also suggests that a number of work-related risk factors associated with fire and emergency services contribute to and increase the risk of poor health including the physiologic strain of firefighting, exposure to particulate matter and airborne toxins, extreme heat, dehydration, shift work, noise, and psychological stress.13 Together, these factors have led to cardiovascular events being the leading cause of line-of-duty…

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