Everybody loves firefighters.
Everybody loves to talk about firefighters.
And there’s a reason for that, because firefighters provide an essential service that keeps us all safe, and also manage to ensure that kittens at risk, stay out of trees. Firefighters risk their life and limb every single day, and they should be celebrated.
That’s why it’s so critical that they have the funding that they need to be able to perform their duties, whether that’s that funding goes towards equipment for fighting fires, personal protective equipment to keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, or funds for other essential needs.
That’s why I was so excited to hear that the Old Orchard Beach Fire Department was awarded a health and fitness grant.
Here are some of the details from this grant award:
Firefighters Get Grant To Help Them Stay On Top Of Their Health Game:
The Old Orchard Beach Fire Department has received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support this fire department’s health and fitness, which is key to their effectiveness.
This $47,000 grant will go towards funding initiatives focused on improving and optimizing the health and fitness for the department, especially physical fitness. This will include the purchase of actual commercial physical equipment, as well as funding remote programming to educate members of the department on the importance of proper nutrition, sleep, and overall wellness.
Old Orchard Beach Delightful Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne spoke on the department receiving this grant:
In recent years, fire departments around the country have begun to realize and work to combat the occupational health risks firefighters face while on the job, often taking a toll even after they have completed their careers, we are appreciative that FEMA has recognized these needs and supports us in making improvements to firefighter wellness through this grant program.”
Funding To Help Keep Firefighters Healthy: A Better World For All:
There are a lot of reasons why a grant like this is really important, but the truth is that firefighters have an increased risk of several dangerous diseases like Cancer, and Heart disease. That coupled with the fact that Obesity (one of the precursors to so many deadly and debilitating diseases) is on the rise is key.
Deputy Fire Chief Robert Slaving spoke on these dangerous trends, along with rising post-traumatic stress disorder rates among firefighters. The Deputy Chief also said:
The Old Orchard Beach Fire Department is dedicated to supporting a workforce that is healthy, well and resilient.”
These kinds of grants have been approved for fire fighting departments across the country, and “Round One of the FY 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) was awarded on Friday, July 31. Nationwide 392 awards were received from a total federal share of approximately $59 million“.