2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week – June 14 – 20, 2009

Second of Four Key Areas: Firefighter Heart Disease and Cancer Education & Prevention

The IAFC and the IAFF are asking you to Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility. We’re calling on all fire/EMS departments and all IAFF affiliates to participate in the 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week scheduled for June 14-20.

Don’t smoke or use tobacco products – Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1964 and 2004, cigarette smoking caused an estimated 12 million deaths, including 4.1 million deaths from cancer, 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 2.1 million deaths from respiratory diseases, and 94,000 infant deaths related to mothers smoking during pregnancy. Stop using tobacco products – period!

Get active – Don’t start an exercise program that you will give up on in the second week. Start by just walking at the same time every day and build on that. Use this time to talk over issues at the firehouse with other firefighters while getting that cardio workout. This is also an excellent and easy time for company officers and chief officers to really LEAD by example. So get out there and walk to take control of your health!

Eat a heart-healthy diet – Go to the IAFF’s Fit to Survive webpage, where you’ll find expert advice and practical information on staying fit and healthy, as well as recipes and nutrition tips to make your next firehouse meal wholesome and delicious. No more fast food drive-through!

Maintain a healthy weight – Your weight is largely determined by the balance between how many calories you consume and the amount of energy you burn in everyday activities. Being overweight can become a matter of life and death. Someone who is overweight and obese is more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems. Also, the overall risk of death increases with obesity.

Get annual medical and fitness evaluations – Having regular evaluations is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Finding a problem when it is small is the best way to prevent more serious problems and disease later. Review your current health and fitness status in relation to your prior assessment.

Materials for the second key area are available on www.iafc.org/safetyweek. Check out the Health and Wellness Resources webpage to access the IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative and other health and wellness resources. Keep watching the Safety Week page for more information on this year’s program and planning resources developed by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section.