Health and Wellness
Preventing cancer requires a focus on health and wellness.
On the back of our contract is a letter developed by Dr. Michael Hamrock outlining testing guidelines for firefighters to give their personal care physician (PCP). The guidelines are more aggressive than what is normally called for due to the occupational exposures and hazards experienced by firefighters.
Boston firefighters receive an incentive if they provide confirmation that they have received an annual physical form their personal primary care doctor. The outcomes of the exam are not shared to preserve confidentiality.
In addition to our in-house EAP and CISM teams, BFD has increased its ability to provide employee assistance and critical incident stress programs. Resilience seminars and other workshops are offered to firefighters and their family members to help address stress, emotional well-being and other needs.
BFD has hosts an annual Health Fair for current and retired members and their families. In recent years, the Health Fair has featured skin cancer testing, diabetes screening and other health-related services. It is a voluntary event.
BFD firehouses are an average of 76 years old, with some houses dating to the 1800s. We are working to modernize our firehouses through a long-term improvement plan. These efforts include:
- Installing diesel exhaust systems.
- Auditing firehouses to assess conditions and identify priority needs.
- Conducting air quality testing with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- Industrial cleaning: This process includes removing all soft furniture such as couches and mattresses while interior surfaces such as ceilings and walls will be degreased, cleaned and painted. Air handling systems will also be cleaned.
- Renovations: BFD has developed a long-term plan to rehab and renovate selected firehouses. We are currently working on 2 complete firehouse renovation projects. Through the efforts of a Firehouse Design Committee, much effort has been placed on identifying ways to make older buildings with small footprints work for modern operations and safety/health needs.