Health and Wellness HERO (Acute Hardship Benevolence program) The formal “Be a Hero to a Hero” program is an emergency response resource designed to help firefighters who fall on acute hard times. The Foundation helps, or finds help with third-party payments, for mortgage, rent, utilities and some living expenses. Firefighter Mental Health and Wellness Like everyone else, firefighters can have trouble with issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, marriage and family issues, addictions – as well as Worker’s Comp for work-related trauma. Compounding the problem is that firefighters are the ones called to help others – and often have difficulty asking for help themselves. Firefighters have what clinicians call “a unique firefighter lifestyle.”
Each week in the United States, at least one firefighter/EMT commits suicide. Two years ago, the Phoenix Valley saw nine firefighter suicides. In the Tucson area, four firefighters on the path to suicide were helped in time. To date, we have no active duty suicides in greater Tucson area. Peer Fitness Training In the fire service, on-duty injuries are costly – often twice as costly as non-public-safety injuries. More than 50 percent of on-duty injuries are not directly related to emergency firefighting. (Day-to-day work, emergency medical work, and fitness training account for the majority of on-duty injuries.)
Cardiac Disease Assessment Over half of on-duty firefighter deaths are due to cardiac disease and fitness issues. The Fire Foundation funds – through local occupational-health-and-fitness firm Well America – advanced-cardiac-disease screenings for at-risk firefighters, and firefighters who are more than 48 years old. Half of on-duty cardiac deaths occur in firefighters 48 and older. Culture Archive The Foundation maintains a Tucson Fire Department archive containing over 80,000 documents and photos, dating back to 1881. The free, searchable archive can be found on the Foundation’s website: www.tucsonfirefoundation.com.
Restoration This team of dedicated volunteers possessing many valuable and expert skills and experience, largely fire service retirees, fully restored a 1928 Ahrens Fox fire engine belonging to the Tucson fire Department and recently completed restoration of this 1923 American-LaFrance fire engine currently on display at Tucson Fire Department Fire Central in Tucson Arizona. The ALF engine belongs to the Foundation but is available for public display and fundraising events. This particular ALF was part of the Tucson Fire Department fleet from 1923 through the mid-1940s – and was involved in fighting the historic Hotel Congress fire of 1934, which led to the capture of notorious bank robber John Dillinger.