Are you fit for duty?

The 2010 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week kicked off this year’s theme: Fit for Duty running June 20-26. According the Fire Engineering article, Safety, Health and Survival 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. With more than 50 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths caused by health and fitness-related issues, the IAFC and IAFF believe its imperative that there be a concentrated effort in implementing wellness and fitness programs.

The article goes on to state that Safety, Health and Survival 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.

First responders will spend this week focusing on the following topics:
• Sunday: Food & Nutrition
• Monday: Fitness
• Tuesday: Stress Management
• Wednesday: Smoking / Smokeless Tobacco Cessation
• Thursday: Alcohol and Other Drugs
• Friday: Infectious Diseases
• Saturday: 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.

Check out this video on Firehouse.com focusing on Monday’s fitness topic. In this video, Lt. Evans demonstrates easy core-building exercises that can be performed with minimal equipment.