Excerpts from the pantograph.com:

The Normal Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant to help fund an annual firefighter physical fitness and wellness program.  The money, totaling around $76,000, will be used to fund annual health evaluations and occupational health screenings such as lung testing, auditory testing, advanced echo cardiograms, chest x-rays and cancer screenings.

The results of these screenings remain confidential, but they will allow the department to tailor fitness and wellness initiatives for its members. In addition, the department physical fitness program will introduce a peer-supported fitness model where firefighters will work with their crews to meet fitness goals and also will include group physical training by local physical trainers and health agencies.

Fire Chief Mick Humer said “Over the span of three years, we experienced the loss of three of our active members, and two of those deaths were attributed directly to undiagnosed cardiac problems. In 2016, we had a seemingly healthy member have a near-death experience from a cardiac emergency and has since retired as a result.” 

Matt Hill, president of the union, said, “It’s very important for our firefighters to recognize how important their health is to themselves and the citizens that depend on us. I’m very pleased that the town of Normal, fire administration, and Local 2442 are working together to make wellness and fitness a top priority.”

Of the grant total, NFD will contribute 10 percent of the program, or around $6,900, with the grant covering the remaining amount of around $69,000.

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