Through this soggy and smokey summer, firefighters have been in our hearts and on our minds. As the Mississippi rose and wildfires ravaged California, we all saw our nation's rescue workers pressed to the max. Who can forget the many pictures of exhausted smoke-jumpers?
All segments of the firefighting community, Forest Service, volunteer or career firefighters have special fitness needs for on-the-job stress and physical endurance. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death among members of this treacherous profession. "It takes a person with heart to do your job. Keep it strong," says the National Volunteer Fire Council website.
August 18 - 22 is National Firefighter Health Week. Stations across the country are taking time to educate themselves and assess their fitness goals. Career firefighters, some with 24 hour straight shifts, usually get one hour for exercise per shift. Volunteer outfits rely on creative solutions for their fitness needs. Some municipalities offer their firefighters a gym membership. Most volunteers drill rescue scenarios one-night a week, which offers some physical effort.
The FruitGuys became acquainted with the Hermosa Beach Firefighter's Association when an anonymous donor contacted us wanting to supply the firefighters with fresh fruit. It turns out the well intentioned civilians of Hermosa Beach send their valued firefighters many dozens of cookies. Although it's a very generous offer from grateful community members, tons of sweets don't fall in line with a firefighter's nutrition goals.
To assist in the firefighter fitness program, the FruitGuys have sent them fire engine red pedometers.
If you would like to make a weekly or bi-weekly donation of heart healthy fruit to your local fire station, it is best to call us with the name of the chief or administrator.
Email or call us at 1-877-FRUIT-ME for more information.