CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Research continues to show a relationship between firefighting and medical issues making health and wellness a priority for the U.S. Fire Service. Annual physicals are critically important in keeping our nation’s firefighters healthy.
To lead this effort, the First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths, Inc. (FRC) and the Safety, Health and Survival Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (SHSS) announce a new partnership ratified Wednesday through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at FRI in Charlotte, NC.
In recent years, the SHSS has sponsored three national summits and produced resources about the importance of physicals. As the first step in this new partnership the FRC will create an Advisory Committee on Firefighter Physicals to spearhead communication and outreach efforts. The SHSS will hold two seats on the committee, with one of those being the role of Vice Chair.
"The IAFC Safety Health and Survival section is honored to continue and indeed enhance our longstanding relationship with the NFFF and their newly formed First Responder Center for Excellence. We look forward to advancing the implementation of an annual occupationally relevant medical/physical evaluation for every Firefighter!" said Deputy Chief John Sullivan and SHSS Vice chairman.
“The goal now is to share the information in clear and relevant ways to multiple audiences. We believe this will help direct research in needed areas and motivate firefighters to take control of their health,” explained Ed Klima, managing director of the FRC. “Ultimately, we want to ensure firefighters are doing everything they can to improve and maintain their health and are receiving the highest quality care possible.”
More information will be available once the Advisory Committee is established.