The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) received a $1 million Fire Prevention and Safety (FPS) Grant to sustain and expand a number of programs and services through the Foundation’s Everyone Goes Home® Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program.
These include two cutting-edge programs that focus on the physical and mental health and well-being of firefighters. Accepting responsibility for one’s health can significantly impact safety and effectiveness on the job and reduce the risk of a firefighter dying.
The Heart Healthy Lifestyle Project is a partnership between the Foundation and the Johns Hopkins University Ciccerone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. The project encourages firefighters to make heart-healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and to support and influence each other’s habits. This is done through regular blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, making healthy food and meal preparation choices, and getting regular exercise.
Over the past two years, the Foundation established a series of behavioral health programs to ensure that firefighters and their families have access to counseling and support. By working with behavioral health specialists, the Foundation is developing materials and training programs to help department leadership recognize and respond to signs of intense stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal behaviors among their members.
The grant will also help the Foundation expand many existing programs that are part of Everyone Goes Home®. These include Courage to Be Safe® and Leadership, Accountability, Culture and Knowledge (LACK) training courses, the International First Responder Seatbelt Pledge, and the Life Safety Advocate program.
“This grant ensures that the Foundation will continue to reach thousands of the nation’s firefighters and fire service leaders with the information, training and materials they need to implement the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives within their departments and help to reduce the number of line-of-duty deaths and injuries every year,” said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the Foundation.
The FPS grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). Over the past 7 years, the Foundation has received funding from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) to support a goal set by the United States Fire Administration to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities by 50 percent within 10 years.