Health and Safety

Firefighting is a dangerous and hazardous job.  Every day firefighters risk their lives protecting people and property in their communities.  While some hazards are unavoidable, there is much that can be done to make firefighting safer.

Here you will find information, resources and tools to be a safer, healthier firefighter.  Topics rotate monthly so come back and visit often.

Resolve To Be Healthy
With about half of all line-of-duty firefighter fatalities attributed to heart attack and stroke, keeping health-related resolutions is especially important. Writing your goals down and posting them in a prominent place makes it much easier to remember your resolve to treat your body well every day. Remember to not give up if you have a misstep – you can succeed in adopting a healthier lifestyle.

There are many things you can do to keep your focus on staying fit and eating well. For instance, consider creating a fitness and diet schedule (remember to speak with your doctor about any questions or concerns), finding an exercise buddy, and signing up for any health and wellness activities your department has planned.

Visit to take advantage of the NVFC’s Put It Out smoking cessation campaign. The site includes resources for individual first responders, departments, state associations, and family members, so you can find the resources you need for yourself as well as to help your department become smoke-free. Pass the site to your family members to get their support as you face the challenge of quitting smoking.

Make a promise to yourself to reach your health and fitness goals and develop new habits that will keep your heart healthy for years to come. Find more information and resources on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

(Courtesy of the National Volunteer Fire Council)

More Topics and Sites

Everyone Goes Home 
Recognizing the need to do more to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has developed a national program to bring prevention efforts to the forefront.

NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program
This site is dedicated to saving firefighters and EMS personnel from their leading cause of death:  heart disease. Tools included are for firefighters, departments and families.

Fit to Survive
Created by the IAFF, here you can find advice and practical information on staying fit and healthy, as well as healthy recipes and nutrition tips.

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative
Almost 25% of yearly firefighter fatalities result from motor vehicle crashes.  The U.S. Fire Administration created this report to identify practices that have the potential to decrease risk, as  well as to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur while responding to and returning from incidents (PDF format).

Infectious Disease
This document by the IAFF sheds light on infectious disease exposure and risk among firefighters and what can be done about it (PDF format).