The Phoenix (Ariz.) Metropolitan Area Fire Departments Regional Safety Committee, aka Valley Safety Officers, decided to produce additional unique materials for this year’s Firefighter Safety Stand Down week, June 18-24, 2017.
The Valley Safety Officers main focus this year is “Reducing the Risk of Cardiac Disease and Cardiac Events for Firefighters” and aligns with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundations’ Life Safety Initiative #6 Medical & Physical Fitness.
As the chair of the Valley Safety Officers, Eric Valliere, assistant fire chief, Scottsdale Fire Department, chose the topic of cardiac care for firefighters and put together this year’s Safety Stand Down materials with input and participation from their committee.
“Since cardiac disease occurs in firefighters up to 15 years earlier than the general population and the increasing amount of cardiac related LODDs in the recent years, I felt like this was a critical piece of education that needed to be discussed,” said Valliere. “The recommendations that we came up with are ‘must do’s’ to ensure ongoing cardiac health for firefighters.”
The national Firefighter Safety Stand Down was designed to dedicate one week to place a spotlight on firefighter safety, health and survival. Although safety, health and survival should be a main focus for every fire department every day, this week encourages the departments an opportunity to review some important materials and discuss, as a crew and/or battalion, how they will continue to strive to improve in these areas.
Valliere is also a board member of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association and was encouraged to offer the downloadable material on the FDSOA website.
“The Valley Safety Officers wanted to share their Stand Down concept and materials with all of our members and other departments across the country,” said Valliere. “So please see the FDSOA website for the Firefighter Stand Down and download the materials and resources to help you and your department.”
Rich Marinucci, executive director of the FDSOA, said, “The Board of Directors and members of the FDSOA are continually looking at a variety of strategies that can promote wellness in firefighters and reduce unnecessary risks. While safety is a 24-hour/365 day requirement for everyone taking the time to highlight specific efforts during the stand down week can help to establish good habits that can be continued throughout the year (and career). The FDSOA strongly encourages all fire departments to actively participate in this year’s program—and every day.”
Main image from National Volunteer Fire Council