Charity launches Healthy Joints Awareness Programme to combat top reason for absenteeism across UK fire services community

With musculoskeletal injuries and issues accounting for the largest number of missed working days across the UK’s fire services, The Fire Fighters Charity has this week launched a new awareness programme to help fire and rescue service personnel, past and…

Food on the Stove is changing the culture of health in Washington, D.C. firehouses

Food on the Stove is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization founded to promote healthy lifestyle management among firefighters. With programmes ranging from healthy cooking demonstrations to partnerships with local farms that supply food to firehouses, this firefighter-operated and focused organization…

Month-long fitness and wellbeing charity campaign to support emergency services kicks off

A month-long charity campaign focused on helping front-line workers to improve their mental health and wellbeing has begun, with celebrity doctor Tom Naylor supporting the effort by urging the public to sign up. Taking place from 1 October, the Blue…

The blood of firefighters, the first line of defence

Firefighters have been unaware of the toxicity of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals: although the National Health and Nutrition Study (NHANES) has been testing Americans’ blood for PFAS chemicals since 1999.1 The programme of studies is designed by the US…

Firefighters fight mental health problems

Firefighters are particularly at risk of work-related stress and mental health problems because of the nature of their work. As a sector, there is increasing focus on the mental health and wellbeing of staff and TeamDoctor is delighted to be…

Is musculoskeletal pain putting the wellbeing and careers of firefighters at risk?

New research will assess the musculoskeletal health of UK and European firefighters in a bid to better understand the prevalence of this kind of injury and the knock-on impact on the fire service. Luxfer Gas Cylinders, a world-leading provider of…

Understanding policy and procedure: A must for station design

A synergetic relationship between policy and design are extremely important in the layout of Fire Stations. The article will address this relationship and the effects on the long-term health of the firefighters that live and work there.

Firefighter fitness: A functional approach

The fireground demands work capacity – plain and simple. There’s no app for forcing doors, advancing hose lines, or hooking ceiling. Achieving optimal work capacity is dependent on your functional training, which must be dynamic, comprehensive, and built for performance.

Firefighters pride themselves on their strategies, tactics, and skills. But when it really comes down to it, being “fit for duty” is the true foundation of every successful firefighter. You may be a tactical fireground expert, but if you are exhausted after climbing a few flights of stairs in full personal protective equipment, then it is time to take an honest look in the mirror and make some changes.

The realities of firefighting and mental health

In June, the London Fire Brigade responded to one of the most tragic incidents the international fire service has witnessed in years. In the middle of the night, some 40 apparatus and hundreds of firefighters descended upon a 24-story apartment…

An unfair hand

Most of us enter the fire service knowing that danger and risk are inherent parts of the job. We know that we will be exposed to heat, smoke, and flame, but many do not realize the hidden dangers that we face far away from the fireground.

Becoming a firefighter is a choice. But it is a choice that comes with a requirement to fully commit to the higher standards that come with the profession, regardless of whether you are paid or volunteer. As David J. Soler shares in the book Firefighter Functional Fitness, “The deck of cards is stacked against firefighters and their health. When we took the firefighter oath, we never knew that our life expectancy would automatically be reduced by the hazards that confront us. Take your pick: Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, inhalation hazards, dehydration, overexertion, heat stress, sleep deprivation and disorders, traumatic and thermal injuries, psychological and emotional stress, PTSD, infectious disease, physical assault…. On and on, the list of hazards and ‘career side effects’ continues with almost no end in sight.”1  

Firefighter mental health, resiliency, and ensuring you are mentally fit

PTSD. This acronym, slight and neat, has wreaked havoc upon those it afflicts. “I thought I was stronger than this”. This small, world-destroying statement is not something that is uncommon to hear. Due to the strong “hero” image within the…

Train the brain: Clean gear could save lives

The grim statistics don’t lie: 68% of all firefighters develop cancer. These heroes use their education and training to assess dangerous situations and make split decisions that save lives, but are we overlooking critical education that could save theirs? To…

Firehouses – Can they breed a change in behavioral health?

As a retired fire captain from the suburbs of Chicago, a licensed counselor and founder of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) I say absolutely! Why do I believe this? Because these are my brothers and sisters, men and women who…

International Fire Fighter is the leading global publication for municipal and industrial fire fighters and the fire and rescue industry.

The editorial features are written by industry experts and comprise a unique blend focussing on the latest technology, training methods and equipment as well as highlighting sector-specific issues from around the world.

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