Monday, September 28, 2015

#FFHI2015 - FireFighter Health Initiative of 2015

I'm sick and I'm sick and tired of being sick. No really, I am actually sick with a bad URI, that's on the verse of bronchitis. But I'm sicker even than that. Though I'm on the mend, I awoke this morning to find two #LODD notices in my mailbox, both for basically "middle-aged" men and both due to preventable health issues. And those two obits come on the heal of a third, that occurred over the weekend, when another brave FF passed, after nearly a week in the hospital following his collapse on the scene of a run. Again, due to preventable health issues. Well, we're tired of reading those #LODD notices and their subsequent obituaries; about the families left behind and hundreds, if not thousands who show up at their funerals. 

Listen, we all know and understand that this is a big, dangerous "game" that we play. It's always the same, us (Humans) versus him (The Red Devil). And because we play this game, we know the Red doesn't always play by the rules, so it is up to us to do so. And we do, day after day, we do. However, we have a good idea as to how this game is played, and thank Heaven above, the winning percentage has gained year after year in recent time. That's right. Fewer of us have lost the game and therefore, fireground fatalities are being reduced most years. Although a great many of us were reluctant to accept all the
"modern" safety codes and requirements issued by the #NFPA, more and more do and thus the lessening of the losses.

But if you ask me, we're missing the boat. We are so gung-ho to get on our apparatus when those tones sound off in the station or on our pagers, that we have lost sight of the most important factor: What happens if we don't take care of ourselves well enough to allow us to even stay on the job? It appears that we're nearly at 60% of the #LODD for 2015 have been health related. And sadly, our own colleagues are the ones to respond to those terrifying calls, at our home, at the firehouse, on the fireground, etc. It's too much....IT'S TOO GODDAM MUCH!! AND WE HAVE TO MAKE A CHANGE!!

With that, we creating a hashtag, #FFHI2015 - The FireFighter Health Initiative 2015. THIS IS WHERE WE WILL DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND!! 

We're asking, we're begging you to join us today. Make this hashtag #FFHI2015 part of your life. If you are a Chief officer reading this, this applies double for you. Why? Because this both applies to you as a firefighter and applies to you as a leader of your department to see to it that the #FFHI2015 is implemented in your department. If your a line officer, you're in the same boat as are the chiefs, you have to be willing to participate yourself and motivate your front-line members to do the same. And if you're an engineer, truckee, nozzle-jockey, or whatever, you owe both to your family and the community that you protect, to protect yourself.

No matter what your role is in firefighting, do you not owe it to your family, your friends, your co-workers to do the best job that you can? Ask yourself this: Is there anything you wouldn't do to? Would you walk into a fully involved buiding without full PPE? If you don't start taking care of yourself and soon, you might just as well! 

Are you afraid? Are you afraid that if you have to undergo a physical, it may disqualify you from active duty? Well, is that it? Tough to think about, isn't it. How would you care for your family, the house, etc.? That is a tough question. But here's one that even tougher...if you don't start taking care of yourself now, who will when you're dead and buried?

Look around you. See all your friends from work. See all your family. Do you think they'll think you any less of a person because you decided it's time to lose a few pounds and work out a bit?

OK, I've been able to vent this horrid feeling in me since this morning. But I will tell you this, we at Dalmatian Productions, Inc. believe in this issue so strongly that it will be worked into the long-term story line of our new TV show, "Cause & Origin(c)"

Now #StaySafe and Let's Make Sure #EveryOneGoesHome

Steve, Rich, Tom & Jesse

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