This page highlights how a grant award was used to start a heart attack prevention program. This page is intended for fire departments and eligible organizations interested in reducing death and injuries due to fire related hazards.
Firefighters Learn About Heart Health
National Volunteer Fire Council
WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Volunteer Fire Council's (NVFC) Heart-Healthy Firefighter booth screened almost 600 fire and emergency services personnel and their families for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose at Fire-Rescue International (FRI) in Dallas, Texas, September 14-16, 2006. The NVFC partnered with L&T Health and Fitness, an award-winning fitness management and health-promotion company, to provide the free health screenings.
Heart attack is the leading cause of firefighter deaths. As part of its mission to reduce the number of firefighter and EMS personnel deaths from heart attack, the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program brings its booth to emergency services trade shows and conferences across the country.
The NVFC began the heart attack prevention program with the first AFG grant in 2002. In the first year of the program, NVFC formed the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Work Group, partnering with the American Heart Association, L&T Health and Fitness, NFPA, USFA, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals to name a few. Since that time, NVFC has subsequently enhanced and expanded the program with additional grant funding for the last 3 years.
"In the four years the Heart-Healthy booth has been going to trade shows, we have screened over 12,000 emergency services personnel and their families," said Maggie Wilson, NVFC's Director of Health and Safety. "These screenings really make a difference. One firefighter at FRI told us this program saved his life. He had no idea his blood pressure was dangerously high until he was screened at the Heart-Healthy booth at a trade show last year. As a result of the screening he was able to get to his doctor before any complications arose. Now, thanks to a combination of medication and a healthier lifestyle he is successfully managing his blood pressure level."
For more information about the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program success stories, visit www.healthy-firefighter.org.
In addition to the health screenings, hundreds of attendees stopped by the booth to learn healthy cooking techniques and recipes during a series of cooking demonstrations performed by Chef Kevin Harris of Food For Love, Inc. Harris shared his recipes with attendees, inviting the audience to sample the foods after each demonstration. The recipes are available on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Web site at www.healthy-firefighter.org.
Other initiatives of the program include the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide the Fired Up for Fitness Challenge, the Heart-Healthy Firefighter E-News, and a Heart-Healthy Firefighter Cookbook, which will be released later this year.
What They Bought With The Grant:
- NVFC's Heart-Healthy Program