on February 12, 2008 by Staff in Latest, Comments Off on Golden Fire get Homeland Security grant

Golden Fire get Homeland Security grant

Congressman Ed Perlmutter presented the Golden Fire Department with a check yesterday in the amount of $13,252 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase fitness equipment for the Department’s staff and volunteers to use at Station No. 4. The 2007 Assistance to Firefighters Grant is administered through the DHS Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Preparedness Directorate in consultation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

Golden Fire Capt. Tina Gustafson wrote the grant application asking for funds for fitness equipment that would be available to help encourage firefighters to achieve and maintain fitness.

“Since all of the 55 frontline firefighters [in Golden] are volunteers, finding time to workout can be challenging,” states the application. “By having equipment at the station, firefighters will have more opportunity to squeeze a workout into their already busy schedules of family, work, and department responsibilities.”

Through the grant funds, the Department has ordered cardiovascular exercise machines, including an elliptical and an exercise bicycle, and strength training equipment, including weights, a cable pulley system and a variety of exercise balls. The equipment is expected to be installed and ready for use by March.

The Department decided to install the equipment at Station No. 4 (near Heritage Square) because the Department’s shift program is currently housed at that station, where firefighters will have the opportunity to use the equipment during their 12-hour shifts. Other firefighters can workout as their schedules bring them to the station, such as after work detail and training sessions. Furthermore, firefighters already have access to the Golden Community Center’s equipment while working out of Fire Station No. 1 (next to City Hall on 10th Street).

Having exercise equipment at the fire station will allow firefighters to workout as their schedules permit. If firefighters are working out at the station, they are also available for calls. Firefighters sometimes are reluctant to go to a gym to workout, especially at times when staffing is light, since they are not able to respond to calls. This arrangement would solve that dilemma.

Having a common workout facility will encourage fitness among the volunteers by its availability. Additionally, firefighters are often competitive in nature. Through their interaction, some Department members may find themselves beginning a workout program because their colleagues have started one. The Fire Officers will promote and encourage all firefighters to take advantage of the equipment. Finally, providing exercise equipment demonstrates that the Department values the wellness of its membership as it develops a healthier group of volunteer firefighters.

With medical costs increasing all the time, less than $15,000 is a small investment in helping prevent injury or other medical issues for more than 55 people. The cost of this equipment is less than $230 per firefighter!

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