In partnership with the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, VFIS is proud to sponsor the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award annually.
The award is designed to honor organizations that provide outstanding contributions to firefighter safety and wellbeing. This year, co-recipients have been selected, and these incredible organizations are set to formally receive their award at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 25, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Awarded criteria were based on these 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives:
- Cultural change
- Risk management
- Training & certification
- Medical & physical fitness
- Research agenda
- Fatality, near-miss investigation
- Grant support
- Response policies
- Violent incident response
- Psychological support
- Public education
- Code enforcement & sprinklers
- Apparatus design & safety
Health And Safety Training Program
One of the 2019 recipients was the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative, who works to bring together fire service members and advocate for their health and safety by sharing information on best practices. Their program is continuously growing and now covers all five of Florida’s regions. They focus on cancer prevention, health and physical fitness, emotional and mental wellness and safety during emergency incident response.
The supportive elements of the program have been fully integrated with the department’s safety
In addition, the Denver Fire Department is being recognized for their dedication to developing a truly comprehensive health and safety training program. The program incorporates nutrition support, fitness and behavioral health elements that can be custom-tailored to each firefighter’s individual needs. The supportive elements of the program have been fully integrated with the department’s safety and training program, so they are regularly and fully utilized by all members, beginning with new recruits and ending with long-term firefighters.
Making Profession Safer
VFIS extends its congratulations and gratitude to these organizations for working hard to make an incredible impact on those in the emergency service industry. Along with NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton, VFIS Executive Vice President Dr. Bill Jenaway noted, “We are witnessing dramatic changes in the fire service on the issue of health and safety—changes inspired in part by firefighters at the local level who are passionate about making the profession safer.”
“We comment both the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative and the Denver Fire Department for the establishment of two successful health and safety programs. What makes these programs successful is the collaboration and cooperation of so many individuals at the local level who care deeply about the health and safety of their fellow first responders. We look forward to honoring both organizations at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner.”