NVFC Health Week 2009
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Monday: Know Your Risks
Tuesday: Keep Your Head in the Game
Wednesday: Matters of the Heart
Thursday: Focus on Fitness and Nutrition
Friday: Keep it Strong All Year Long
The third annual National Firefighter Health Week, an NVFC initiative to raise awareness of the issues and problems that can affect all firefighters, got under way Monday. FireRescue1 is partnering with the NVFC to offer a range of articles and resources this week to help you and your department be healthy.  
Mon., August 17:
Know Your Risks
Five Points for First Responder Fitness
By Bryan Fass, FireRescue1 columnist

Organizers of the Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week earlier this year listed five key areas to improve firefighter health. The NVFC's National Firefighter Health Week makes it a good time to revisit these areas and look at ways you can improve your lifestyle.

1) Don't smoke or use tobacco products
Responders, if the routine use of tobacco products is still part of your day, you need to reconsider your career choice. You should already know that tobacco products cause cancer. On top of that, you are sure to inhale plenty of particulate matter from your truck's exhaust — in addition to a wider array of general nastiness — during a typical shift. Full Article
Related Resources
My Steps to Fitness
By FireRescue1 Columnist Richard C. Maddox, FDSOA Vice Chairman
Heart Health: 'Talk-test' your way to personal fitness
From Health Week 2007
Health Risks
Resources and Tips

On NVFC.org
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Tues., August 18:
Keep Your Head
in the Game
A Checkup From the Neck Up
By Billy Hayes, FireRescue1 columnist

Jimmy Buffett said it best in his song Changes In Latitudes, "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane!" His songs help me cope with the everyday stresses of work, marriage, parenting and all of the other ups and downs in life.

So, you have to be asking yourself, "OK Billy, other than you letting us know that you're a Parrothead, what's your point?" Well, it refers to Initiative 13: Provide firefighters & their families' access to counseling & psychological support. I do believe that every one of the Life Safety Initiatives have an impact on the mission of reducing firefighter line-of-duty deaths. But for the last couple of years, Initiative 13 has stuck out in my mind more than some of the others. Full Article
Related Resources
Focus on Behavioral Health
From Health Week 2008
What About Mental and Emotional Rehab? Part 1
Part 2
By FireRescue1 Columnist Perry Denehy
Behavioral Health Resources and Tips
On NVFC.org
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Wed., August 19:
Matters of
the Heart
Focus on Heart Health
By the NVFC

Heart attacks are the number one cause of line-of-duty firefighter deaths. Heart disease affects 80 million Americans, and the emergency services are not immune. In fact, the stress of emergency response creates an increased risk of heart attack. Protecting your heart through regular health screenings, proper nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle choices is key to lowering your risk of becoming a statistic. Full Article
Related Resources
FDNY Fitness Steps
to a Healthy Heart

By Kevin Malley and David Spierer — 'Get Firefighter Fit'
Heart Health
Resources and Tips

On NVFC.org
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Thurs., August 20:
Focus on Fitness
and Nutrition
Firefighters: The Ultimate Athletes
By Michael Krueger, NSCA-CPT

Welcome to the world of the firefighter, the ultimate athlete. Training for this "sport" can be complicated. Many people don't understand the physical demands placed on firefighters. Fighting fires is deadly serious business; it doesn't have time outs, or referees to make sure nothing gets out of control and it doesn't forgive the unprepared.

You train to mitigate the risks that you are sure to face. Your fitness must be on par with the skills you have spent so much time learning, so that when the game begins you are ready to play. To be ready, you must be training like a firefighter. Too many firefighters train like bodybuilders or like the athletes that they may have been in high school or college. Full Article
Related Videos
Firefighter Fitness Warm-up
By Lt. Anthony Grokaitis
Kettlebell Exercise
for Firefighters

By Lt. Anthony Grokaitis
Fitness and Nutrition Resources and Tips
On NVFC.org
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Fri., August 21:
Keep it Strong
All Year Long
Fitness for All at SC Department
By Chief Greg Bulanow, North Charleston, S.C., Fire Department

Things began earlier this year with a series of department meetings in which doctors from University Family Medicine presented recommendations on maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. The recommendations included regular exercise, eating five or more fruits and vegetables daily, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.

Following the meetings, the department implemented a new policy requiring all on-duty personnel to participate in cardiovascular exercise every shift at fixed times. Full Article
Related Resources
Firefighter Combat Challenge Record Breaker Outlines Nutrition Tips
From Health Week 2008
Featured health column:
First in Fitness

By Bryan Fass
Resources and Tips

On NVFC.org
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