National Firefighter Health Week 2011 is coming up on August 14-20, and now is the time to start planning your Health Week activities. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) encourages you to take advantage of this opportunity to focus on your own health and wellness, and implement Health Week in your department to make sure everyone learns the steps they need to take to get and stay healthy.
As a first responder, you have to be ready for the next call that comes in, and it is critical that you are at your best physically and mentally. The theme of this year’s National Firefighter Health Week is, “When it comes to your health, you’re always on duty.”
“Each year, more firefighters die from heart attacks while on-duty than from any other cause,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The nature of our job and the lifestyle choices we make puts us all at risk for illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and more if we don’t protect ourselves. National Firefighter Health Week is the perfect opportunity to educate yourself and your department of the risks we face and learn the steps you can take to minimize these risks, improve your health and wellness, and avoid tragedy.”
Each day during National Firefighter Health Week will have a special focus, designed to take first responders and their departments through the steps to achieving good health. Saturday and Sunday have been added this year to make sure all duty shifts can participate.
Sunday, August 14 – National Firefighter Health Week Kick-off
Monday, August 15 – CRISIS: Understand the Risk
Increase awareness and understanding of health risks to firefighters and EMS personnel.
Tuesday, August 16 – DISPATCH: Get Support
Solicit buy-in from the community, department overhead, and family to improve first responder health.
Wednesday, August 17 – SIZE-UP: Make a Plan
Set goals and develop a plan of action to improve first responder health and wellness.
Thursday, August 18 – ATTACK: Take Action
Work with department and community partners to implement change in health behaviors.
Friday, August 19 – OVERHAUL: Live Life
Continue to practice healthy behaviors at the department and at home in the long-term.
Saturday, August 20 – Health Week Wrap-Up and Event Day
Organize or attend community events with family and friends that support your commitment to health and wellness.
The NVFC provides an online National Firefighter Health Week Resource Center at www.healthy-firefighter.org/healthweek with tools and information to help you plan your department’s Health Week activities. The Resource Center includes activity suggestions for each focus day, links to tools and resources, podcasts and webinars, and much more to help everyone in your department take the steps necessary to stay healthy for life. There are also resources for promoting your local Health Week activities in the community, including a customizable press release, web banners, and a sponsorship guide for getting local businesses to support your health and wellness initiatives.
This August, take part in National Firefighter Health Week to make sure you and your department members are ready to answer the call. Remember, when it comes to your health, you’re always on duty.
About National Firefighter Health Week
The NVFC through its Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, presents National Firefighter Health Week each August to promote firefighter health and wellness nationwide. Launched in 2007, the initiative is designed to create awareness around important health issues in the emergency services and encourage first responders to take action. Learn more at www.healthy-firefighter.org/healthweek.