Firefighter Health and Wellness
Protecting the Firefighters Who Protect Abington Township
It take significant physical effort to save people and property from fires and other emergencies. That’s why Abington Township Fire Department (ATFD) has implemented a physical and health screening program to protect the health and safety of the volunteer firefighters that perform these duties. The program is based on National Fire Protection Association standards.
Each year, our volunteers undergo a physical, vision and hearing screenings, blood work, a lung function test, and EKG and a chest x-ray. Administered by technicians and a doctor, the results are confidential; the A.T.F.D. is told only whether the firefighter is fit for all duties, fit for duty with some limitations, or currently not fit for duty. The firefighters themselves receive the specific results so they can share information with their personal physician.
The screenings are given at no cost to the volunteer. So far, no firefighter has ever had to give up firefighting. Most findings merited a follow-up visit to the volunteer’s personal health care provider for conditions easily treated with new eye glasses or blood pressure medicine.
When someone volunteers with an Abington Township Fire Department company, their family also makes a commitment.
The A.T.F.D. appreciates the support our volunteers get from their spouses, children, parents, siblings, and other family members. These are the folks who understand when an emergency means mom has to leave the baseball game early, or dad has to run out before carving the turkey. Families are also our volunteers’ greatest source of emotional support.
Our department has created a special brochure designed to help firefighter families – especially the families of new volunteers – know what to expect, and understand what resources are available for both them and the volunteer.
Many family members are so impressed and intrigued by the volunteer among them that they, too, volunteer! Almost all forge friendships with other fire house families.