Fit as a firefighter

Does a wellness program work

Enter a healthy, vibrant and progressive workplace and the first thing you will notice is the people in it and the positive attitude they have. The employees have fewer sick days and are less likely to suffer from injuries or health related problems.  The IAFF/IAFC joint wellness program recognizes these benefits and since the late 1990's they have been educating its members about the Wellness Fitness Initiative.

A fire fighter health care professional who is specifically trained to focus on fire fighters recently shared some stats with me. In two years they discovered 10-15 skin cancers and ten cancers. In five years they diagnosed two lung cancers and one Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well as three to four coronary heart diseases’ per year. These conditions were ALL TREATED SUCCESSFULLY AND THE FIRE FIGHTERS ARE BACK TO WORK.

These statistics are frightening as it indicates how important a wellness program is for fire fighters and what may be missed if one wasn’t in place. More information is available on the power point presentation that I showed to our cities managers on behalf of my association (you can find it on the web site’s side bar). The fire fighter wellness program has existed for years and if your city has not initiated one then you need bring it to their attention and inform them that FIRE FIGHTERS ARE DYING AND HAVE DIED BECAUSE OF A LACK OF A WELLNESS PROGRAM.  Many of the passionate researchers I mention in my power point are stunned by the risk to fire fighter’s health due to the nature of our profession and they stress the urgency for every fire department to have a wellness program.

A fire fighter wellness program does work as it continues to make discoveries that save fire fighter’s lives all over North America.  This is done without the fear of losing their jobs as both fire fighters and chief’s associations support it.  Help your fellow fire fighters and make this program that saves lives and jobs a reality.