Several members of the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department stepped up the plate and put their guts on the line when they were asked to help a study lead by Keshia Pollack of John Hopkins School of Public Health. Every month members meet with staff of Johns Hopkins to be evaluted in their physical health as well as learn about diet, health, and general fitness – all of which is directed for members in the Fire Service.
From Keshia Pollack:
Heart attacks are the leading cause of on-duty deaths for firefighters in the U.S. The Firefighter Food Intervention, Research and Evaluation (FFIRE) study aims to improve the health of firefighters and reduce cardiac risk factors. The project is being conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with the National Volunteer Fire Council and is funded by a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. Cabin John is one of eight volunteer and combination fire stations from around the state of Maryland enrolled in the study, representing numerous regions ranging from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.
The program was developed using information collected from focus groups with area firefighters over the last year and will focus on nutrition since that was identified as a key area of interest. It will include educational, behavioral and environmental components, such as monthly education sessions and cooking demonstrations, intra- and interdepartmental competitions, and changes to the food environment at the stations. Measures will be collected from participants at four time points to evaluate the effectiveness of the study. We plan to share the results with firefighters, key fire prevention partner agencies, and policymakers.
We greatly appreciate the support and enthusiasm shown by Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department and look forward to working together over the next year!
The members of Cabin John Park VFD are happy to lend their support to this study that will likely help other fire departments across the nation.