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Fire Prevention & Safety Research & Development Grants - 2013 Grant Awards

This page contains information about Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Research and Development (R&D) Grant number EMW-2013-FP-00983. The content is useful for those in the fire service seeking information about to how to improve the safety and health of firefighters.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Data
Project Title:The First Twenty For Volunteer Firefighters
Organization:University of Texas at Houston
Principle Investigator:R. Sue Day, PhD
Grant Number:EMW-2013-FP-00983
Award Total:$1,493,347.00
Period of Performance:08/01/2014 – 07/31/2017
Grant Status:Active



Research has established a need for health and wellness programs tailored to the unique needs and culture of the volunteer fire service (VFS) as a means of improving readiness, decreasing injury, and preventing line of duty deaths related to cardiovascular disease. While the career fire service has the Wellness Fitness Initiative to guide their wellness efforts, there has been no intervention designed for the culture and needs of the VFS. Once proven successful, the proposed intervention will provide an immediately disseminable, cost effective, wellness intervention valued by VFF.


The purpose of this study is to retrospectively analyze the most complete set of firefighter autopsies and accompanying medical records ever made available in order to evaluate the pathoanatomic (medical) cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and the underlying medical conditions of the victims, and to identify the most effective preventive strategies.


A national sample of volunteer fire departments will be recruited for a 6 month, CRCT with a cross-over treatment design to determine the efficacy of The First Twenty (TF20), a wellness program focused on nutrition and fitness for firefighters. Modifications to the existing TF20 will be made to enhance the health coaching features and include tools for program evaluation. Study outcomes (changes in weight, BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, dietary intakes, blood pressure, and fitness activities) will be assessed pre- and post intervention.

Anticipated Outcomes

This will be the first internet-based, occupationally tailored health and wellness program implemented for the VFS. TF20 will be an essential cost effective tool to address the epidemic of unhealthy body composition, nutrition and fitness among firefighters.

Last Updated: 
10/21/2014 - 16:51