Ehstoday 652 Safetyweek2012a

Putting the "Health" in International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week

Feb. 24, 2012
With a theme of "Rules You Can Live By," the 2012 International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, a collaborative effort held June 17-23, sets out to reinforce the connection between health and safety.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are sponsoring this campaign in collaboration with more than 20 national and international fire and emergency service organizations. The campaign marks the unification of the IAFC’s Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week with the NVFC’s National Firefighter Health Week. It will highlight the importance of responders taking care of themselves both on and off the emergency incident scene.

"Firefighters die as a result of heart attacks and emergency incident operations," said Battalion Chief Matthew Tobia, chair of IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section (SHS). "This program brings together the collective energies of two outstanding programs with a clear focus on reducing preventable line-of-duty deaths and injuries."

The program strives to increase dialogue and share best practices among career, combination and volunteer departments; address command issues; and offer increased outreach to the fire and emergency service community beyond North America.

"Safety and health are two of the most critical issues facing firefighters and EMS personnel today, regardless of whether you are volunteer or career," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The entire fire service community must join together to create a culture where health and safety are a priority every day."

For more information about the program and tools and resources available from IAFC and NVFC, visit

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