The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) announced the theme for the 2010 Safety, Health and Survival Week: Fit for Duty. Safety Week is June 20-26, 2010.
Safety, Health and Survival Week (Safety Week) is a collaborative program sponsored by the IAFC and the IAFF, coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine, in partnership with more than 20 national fire service organizations.
Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety Week and instead focus entirely on safety, health, and wellness-related training and education until all shifts and personnel have taken part. An entire week is provided to ensure each shift and duty crew can spend one day focusing on these critical issues.
With more than 50 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths caused by health and fitness-related issues, both organizations believe it’s imperative that there be a concentrated effort in implementing wellness and fitness programs.
Safety Week’s Fit for Duty theme will cover a variety of topics that are extremely important to all firefighters and EMS personnel. The program will assist fire departments with implementing their own programs to prepare firefighters and EMS personnel with healthy habits that reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and certain cancers, thereby increasing the chance for a longer and healthier life.
While departments are encouraged to identify activities tailored to their specific community, recommended areas of concentration include:
• General Health and Wellness
• Food and Nutrition
• Stress Management
• Smoking and Smokeless-Tobacco Cessation
• Alcohol and Other Drugs
• Infectious Diseases
• Suicide Prevention
During the week, departments are also encouraged to support comprehensive 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.
Planning tools and resources are currently available on the Safety Week Web site, courtesy of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. Check out the Resources > Health and Wellness webpage for specific resources on this year’s areas of concentration.
Additional information can also be found on the IAFF’s Health, Safety and Medicine’s Web site. Online resources in a variety of topic areas are available online year-round to support continuous efforts to promote personnel safety, health and wellness programs.
Keep watching the Safety Week website and the IAFC Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for continuing updates to this year’s program and planning resources. Remember to visit the IAFF’s Health, Safety and Medicine’s Web site for more information on health, wellness and safety programs or contact the IAFF by email at email@example.com for additional resources.