Since its inception in 1992, the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation (NFFF) has traditionally supported projects that serve its goals of honoring fallen firefighters, providing resources to survivors, and reducing firefighter deaths and injuries. In doing so, the NFFF identified a need within the broader first responder community – including firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics — for a charitable and educational organization that would provide up-to-date resources regarding health intervention and disease, injury and line-of-duty death prevention programs that all first responders and their loved ones could access.
Identifying this gap in the education currently available to the first responder community as a whole led the Foundation to form the First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths, Inc. (FRC).
In support of the NFFF, the First Responder Center plans to become a major resource for first responders and their families in addressing physical and psychological health. The Center will promote research in relevant fields to increase awareness of first responder health issues as well as prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries. The goals of the FRC include developing innovative methods to address the growing concerns related to the presence of cancers within the first responder community; expanding Stress First Aid, a new behavioral health intervention program; as well as creating similar programs in the cardiac and general health and wellness fields. The FRC will work closely with the NFFF, which has existing knowledge and expertise in these fields, and others to further its charitable and educational mission.