The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department’s Wellness-Fitness Program received the 2009 Fire Service Award for Excellence at last week's Fire-Rescue International. Co-sponsored by theand U.S. Safety Fire Technologies, the award recognizes innovation and achievement in managing resources to reduce the loss of life and property from fire and other emergencies.
Dallas Fire-Rescue created a comprehensive program to increase the awareness of personnel about their health and well-being through a series of medical evaluations and physical fitness assessments. The program is mandatory. The program increases the awareness of personnel about their health and well being. The department contracted with MedProvider of Texas to perform the medical-physical evaluations.
DFR has documented at least 10 cases in which there were findings of blocked cardiac arteries that required surgical intervention. Additionally, at least 10 firefighters have had a confirmed diagnosis of a variety of cancers. Also, 47 firefighters were trained and certified as peer-fitness trainers through the Cooper Institute of Dallas as part of the program. They will ensure the success of the program at the station level by providing department members with nutritional and physical-fitness counseling.
Seven finalists are selected from all the nominations submitted during the first half of the calendar year. Each program selected as a finalist receives a check for $500. The grand prize winner is selected by the former presidents of the IAFC and receives a check for $2,000.
The other six finalists were:
- Bellevue (Wash.) Fire Department's multi-language emergency preparedness videos,
- DeKalb County (Ga.) Fire Rescue Department's merger of fire and EMS department,
- Fairfax County (Va.) Fire and Rescue Department's training matrix,
- King of Prussia (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Company's fire- prevention & life-safety education program,
- Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Louisiana Helps program, and
- Memphis (Tenn.) Fire Department's EMS quality-improvement model