Safety, Health and Survival Week Theme Focuses on Long-Term Results

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) announce the theme “Committed to Long-Term Results” for the 2008 Safety, Health and Survival Week to encourage long-term investments by both chiefs and firefighters to enhance their health and safety.

The Safety, Health and Survival Week will be held June 22-28 to institute a strong culture of health and safety with the fire and EMS sectors. This year’s theme reflects the need for organizational action that supports and encourages such a safety culture.

“The 2008 Safety, Health and Survival Week is designed to bring international attention to the need to address preventable injuries and deaths among firefighters,” said Harold Schaitberger, IAFF general president. “The IAFF encourages labor and management to work together to address and improve firefighter health and safety.”

Recommended activities and materials will focus on three areas where standard operating procedures, policies and initiatives can limit fire or EMS personnel’s’ risk of injury or death:

  • Initiate an emergency vehicle policy – Always buckle up, always stop at red lights and stop signs, and always drive defensively and at the speed limit.
  • Fully implement the Wellness-Fitness Initiative – Provide annual medical and physical evaluations, provide equipment and time for exercise and provide nutrition information.
  • Fully implement NFPA 1500, especially sections addressing PPE – Provide compliant PPE and train and enforce use of PPE, including respiratory protection.

“There are certainly times when our call to duty unavoidably ends in tragedy, which makes it all the more important that we take defensive action against those dangers we may be able to control or confront,” said Chief Steven P. Westermann, IAFC president.

Visit http://www.iafc.org/safetyweek for more information.

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