International Fire, EMS Safety and Health Week begins Monday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

International Fire, EMS Safety and Health Week starts Monday

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah Fire & Emergency Services is taking part in the International Fire and EMS Safety and Health Week, which runs June 16-22. 

The week encourages participating fire departments to hold off on non-emergency activities during the week to focus on safety, health training and education, according to SFES.

The weeklong event works to ensure each shift and duty crew can spend devote a day focused on these three areas. Emergency response duties will continue to be provided during the week. Only non-emergency activities, such as routine facility maintenance, will be suspended. All department training hours will be focused on health and safety issues. 

This year's stresses the importance taking responsibility mental and physical well-being with a focus on behavioral health issues.

Stress, exertion, and other medical-related issues, which can lead to heart attacks or other sudden cardiac events, continue to make up the biggest number of fatalities, according National Fire Protection Association and a SFES news release.

The week-long training is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council.  

"The mental and emotional well-being of our first responders is as important as their physical health," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg in a statement. "It is time we recognize that these issues have a critical impact on health and safety, and ignoring this puts our personnel at risk. The fire service community needs to understand these issues and remove the barriers to meeting the behavioral health needs of personnel."

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