The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has been awarded a federal Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant to support the NVFC’s firefighter/EMS health and safety initiatives.
“The NVFC is appreciative of the support from the Department of Homeland Security and Members of Congress who make this grant program possible. This grant will provide resources and training that are needed by volunteer fire and emergency service personnel nationwide,” said Heather Schafer, NVFC Executive Director.
Volunteers make up 70 percent of our nation’s fire service. Communities across the country depend on volunteers to protect them from emergencies of all kind, including fire, medical emergencies, and natural and man-made disasters. The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation.
Two of the NVFC’s key focus areas are the health and safety of firefighters and emergency responders. The NVFC is working on many initiatives to improve first responder health and safety and reduce the incidents of firefighter injury and fatalities. Through the FP&S Grant, the NVFC will be able to expand its health and safety efforts and provide critical resources and training to emergency services personnel – both volunteer and career. The initiatives center on the NVFC’s B.E.S.T. Practices for Firefighter Health and Safety, which include behavior, equipment, standards and codes, and training.
Heart attack is continually the leading cause of on-duty firefighter deaths each year and suicide has become an increasing concern in the fire service. The NVFC will address these and other critical health issues through a national mental health outreach and awareness campaign, Health and Safety Advocate Workshops, the continuation of the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, and the annual International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, which is held in June.
In addition, the NVFC will develop needed training for the fire service to improve firefighter safety. Topics will include vehicle safety, personnel accountability, safety standards, Incident Safety Officer, implementing fire prevention programs, and preparing the next generation of the fire service.
FP&S grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program, and are under the preview of the Grant Programs Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FP&S Grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to target high-risk populations and reduce injury and prevent death.
For more information, visit www.nvfc.org.