The West Newbury Fire Department in West Newbury, MA, is a volunteer department with 30 members. During Safety and Health Week they created a streamlined training and drill schedule that will promote safety awareness to members throughout the year. They also worked with their junior firefighters to teach them why being healthy and in shape is critical to performing all the jobs that are asked of a firefighter.
To keep the momentum going throughout the year, the department issued a challenge to each member to live a healthier lifestyle and make diet and exercise a bigger part of their daily routines. They initiated a buddy system to motivate personnel and create a better sense of collaboration and teamwork, and are encouraging members to workout at the station.
Already, the department has seen progress. “Many of our members have made a bigger commitment to either getting healthier or helping others get healthy,” said David Evans. This includes one firefighter who offered to teach martial arts to members, and another who is working on introducing cross-fit to the department. “I think many of us have made a conscious effort to be more healthy,” Evans said.