Health and Wellness

The Delaware State Fire School is working with various partners to bring you more information for your health and wellness while serving. These health concerns include but go beyond the simple topic of physical fitness. We hope to bring multiple health resources together in one location for your reference, for whatever your need related to the Fire and Emergency Services.

The information we are sharing are just a small portion of the help available to you and your fellow first responders. We want to be make sure that if you need help in any way to become healthier, that we help you get where you need to be, physically or mentally.

These topics include:

Physical Fitness / Mental Health and Wellness / Suicide Prevention / Cancer Risk and Identification

Physical Fitness
There are many resource available to help encourage your members and staff to lead healthier lifestyles to improve their health and physical performance.

The First Twenty

Firefighter Functional Fitness

Fire Rescue Fitness

Breaking Muscle Firefighter Readiness - 12 Week training plan

National Interagency Fire Center - FireFit Program

USFA Firefighter Health, Wellness, and Fitness

The National Volunteer Fire Council - "Serve Strong, Better You. Better Crew"

Cancer Risk and Identification
Cancer has a proven correlation with the fire service. Our exposure to carcinogens on a regular basis has been proven. There ARE steps we can take in order to reduce our risks.

These risks can be reduced with simple actions. Washing your protective hood on a regular basis, or "Wash Your Hood Sunday". Be sure to wash your gear after every fire, especially those fires where you know that you were exposed to contents burning contained synthetic materials. Have a change of clothes for after a fire, as finite particles can, and will, permeate through your fire gear. Shower after each fire. Those particles also stick to you, not just your clothes. And be aware of where you stow your gear. A combination of simple tasks to reduce your risk. Not putting your gear into more exposure than needed, like next to the exhaust of apparatus is one simple way. And after a fire simply leaving your unwashed gear in a vehicle, even if in a plastic bag, can cause further exposure. You can help yourself by reducing your own exposure, and helping others reduce theirs.

Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation

Firefighter Cancer Support Network

USFA Health, Wellness, and Fitness - Cancer

A guide to washing your hood

The American Cancer Society

Mesothelioma Guide - Firefighters and Mesothelioma

2013 CDC Report on Firefighter Related Cancers

Mental Health and Wellness
Understanding the toll that regular exposure to extreme incidents can to do any responder is important to understand their basic mental health. Knowing that traumatic stress can affect anyone, including yourself, is important for not only your own health, but that of your members and your family. Many resources are available for you to take advantage of. They range from counseling, to anonymous phone lines to those who understand your position and let you talk. It is important to let your problems out, be addressed, and to allow healing to begin.


Firefighter Behavioral Alliance

Everyone Goes Home - Psychological Support

IMPACT - Improving Mood -- Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment

Counseling Services for Firefighters

Brattleboro Retreat (For mental health and addiction treatment)

2014 NFPA Journal Article on Mental Health

Contacts for CISM in Delaware courtesy the DVFA

New Castle County, DE CISM Website

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

Suicide Prevention
When those of us don't get the help we need, stress can take a terrible toll on the mind and body. For some, it can be more than they can handle alone. This can happen to the strongest people in the field when they least expect it. Sometimes they reach out to those close to them. At time, the keep withdrawn. While some may not show signs of severe depression or a problem, many do. We must help guide those who need our help.

Code Green Campaign

Firefighter Behavioral Alliance

St. Petersburg College - Fire Service Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Take 5 to Save Lives

Suicide Prevention Resource Center for First Responders

2016 EMS 1 Article on First Responder Suicide

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Training

Training is available to help others cope with mental health and stress. This is offering others private, anonymous help, as well as Critical Incident Stress Management to our brothers and sisters in their time of need surrounding a stressful incident or time.

The Connect Program

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Training

Critical Incident Stress Management Peer Support Training

Peer Support Central - for First Responders


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