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IAFC announces 2009 winner of the Fire Service Award for Excellence

The Fire Service Award for Excellence was presented to Dallas Fire-Rescue for its innovative firefighter health assessment program
The Fire Service Award for Excellence was presented to Dallas Fire-Rescue
Program to increase firefighter health awareness takes prize

The 2009 winner of the Fire Service Award for Excellence is the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department's Wellness-Fitness Program. Presented every year at the IAFC's annual conference, Fire Rescue International, and co-sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and U.S. Safety Fire Technologies, this award recognizes the very best in innovation and achievement in managing resources to reduce the loss of life and property from fire and other emergencies.

Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) created a comprehensive program to increase the awareness of DFR personnel about their health and wellbeing through a series of medical evaluations and physical fitness assessments. The program is mandatory in DFR. DFR 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 DFR program. They will ensure the success of the program at the station level by providing department members with nutritional and physical-fitness counseling.

In at least 10 cases, there were findings of blocked cardiac arteries requiring surgical intervention

Chief Ronny Coleman, IAFC President 1988-1989, and U.S. Safety Fire Technologies President H. Wayne Boyd created the Excellence Award to recognize the fire service's creative solutions to community problems. Award-winning programs have focused on such issues as fire prevention, emergency preparedness and management, drowning prevention, arson, EMS, fire-victim assistance, recruitment, public relations, community outreach and training.

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 IAFC congratulates the other six finalists on the success and innovation of their programs:

  • City of Bellevue (Wash.) Fire Department - Multi-Language Emergency Preparedness Videos
  • DeKalb County (Ga.) Fire Rescue Department - Merger of Fire and EMS Department
  • Fairfax County (Va.) Fire and Rescue Department - Training Matrix
  • King of Prussia (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Company - Fire Prevention & Life Safety Education Program
  • Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal - Louisiana Helps
  • Memphis (Tenn.) Fire Department - EMS Quality Improvement Model

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