My Body Survived My Career Because of Health and Wellness “Culture”

Talking "Shop" 4 Fire & EMS

By:  Robert AvsecFF Pulling Hose

Make no mistake, fire and emergency medical service is physically demanding work — always has been and always will be.  Despite the technology that has made the job safer and less punishing, fighting fires still involves people lugging hose into burning buildings and carrying Mrs. Smith down two flights of stairs at 3 a.m.  Over the course of a 25- or 30-year career, the small aches and pains can accumulate into larger health issues.

In November 2007, I went for what was the final health assessment of my 25-plus-year career with Chesterfield County (VA) Fire & EMS Department (CFEMS).  When it first began offering annual health assessments to career personnel in 1990–participation in the program was voluntary–CFEMS was one of the more progressive departments in the United States (And still is).  As I finished my career with the organization later that week, I now had 17 years…

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