Valdosta Daily Times

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June 17, 2014

Fire department participates in Fire/EMS Safety, Health Week

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Fire Department will participate in the 2014 International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week from June 16-20.

Safety and Health Week is a joint initiative of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council and is supported by a network of fire service, health, and safety organizations.

The fire department will join departments from across the nation and world during the observance to increase public awareness on the importance of firefighter safety and health.

“We are looking forward to participating in Safety and Health Week,” said Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome. “This year’s theme for Safety and Health Week is ‘Train Like You Fight!’ and emphasizes how our training is a critical component of firefighter and emergency medical responder safety.”

The VFD will observe the week with training activities that focus on firefighter safety and rehabilitation.

Thanks to a charitable donation from Sam’s Club, the VFD was able to purchase the following firefighter safety and rehabilitation items:

• Kore Kooler chairs

• Towels

• Coolers

• Medical monitoring equipment (Pulse Oximeter)

The VFD personnel work during emergency and non-emergency incidents that often expose employees to perform physically and mentally exerting tasks during extreme environmental conditions.

Safe rehabilitation practices will aid in reducing possible adverse effects of metabolic heat buildup, dehydrations, and environmental health-related illnesses and injuries.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 47.2% of firefighter fatalities are related to heart attacks.

“With the purchase of the new equipment, the department is taking additional steps to keep our personnel healthy and safe,” said Broome.  “As the chief, it is also my obligation to the families to take any necessary precautionary measures to ensure our firefighters always return home safely.”

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