The Department of Homeland Security awarded the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) a grant of nearly $1 million to continue the important work of the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program. The grant will be used to implement Phase Five of the Program, which features two new components.
The first new component, a state and local train-the-trainer program, is designed to train fire and emergency services personnel how to create and maintain an effective health and wellness program within their fire department, with a significant focus on heart-health. It will include a curriculum that firefighters can bring back to their departments.
The second new component is the Adopt-the-Program feature that allows firefighters and departments to register with the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program to receive specific tools and information that they can follow to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. The tools and resources to be developed as part of this include heart-healthy meal plans, fitness information, and tracking mechanisms to monitor progress.
“We are very excited to be able to add these two important new elements to the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program,” said Maggie Wilson, NVFC’s Director of Health and Safety. “With every phase of the Program, we have been able to provide even more tools and resources to first responders to help keep them healthy and decrease their risk of heart attacks. With Phase Five, we are going to be able to educate emergency personnel on how they can implement the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program within their department.”
In addition to developing and implementing these new features of the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, this grant will enable the NVFC to continue providing existing Program elements such as free health screenings and heart-healthy cooking demonstrations, as well as valuable heart-health tools and resources such as The Pulse newsletter, the Heart-Healthy Firefighter E-news; the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Cookbook, and the Resource Guide. Through this grant, the NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program will also continue to offer the highly successful FIRED UP FOR FITNESS Challenge and the www.healthy-firefighter.org Web site, the emergency services’ leading resource for information concerning heart-health.