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April 20, 2014
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Firefighters to optimize their performance in innovative new program for industrial athletes

…community partnership between City of Burnaby, Burnaby Fire Department, Burnaby Firefighters Local 323 and Fortius Sport & Health established to reduce injuries, enhance health and keep firefighters at work and performing at their best

BURNABY, B.C. (Wednesday, March 26th, 2014) – A ground-breaking new initiative for industrial athletes will be front and centre in a dynamic community partnership between the City of Burnaby, Burnaby Fire Department, the Burnaby Firefighters Local 323 and Fortius Sport & Health.

Announced today in a special partnership event at Fortius Sport & Health, the innovative new Performance Health program is designed to reduce injuries, enhance health outcomes and keep City of Burnaby firefighters performing at their best at work and in their personal lives.

“We are very proud of this dynamic new partnership program that is made in Burnaby, by Burnaby and for Burnaby,” said City of Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan. “It has the potential to serve as the global standard for fire departments around the world.”

“We recognize that it simply wouldn’t be possible without the vast expertise and world-class amenities now situated here in our community on the strength of the Fortius Institute,” added Mayor Corrigan. “We are very appreciative of the state-of-the-art thinking around which this program has been built and anticipate tremendous results.”

The program represents a pro-active approach to optimal performance in the work place and is the first of its kind in Canada designed specifically for firefighters.  

“We’re excited about the partnership with Burnaby Firefighters and we’re pleased to establish yet another layer of community connections within the City of Burnaby,” said Scott Cousens, Founder & Chair of Fortius Sport & Health and Chair of the Fortius Foundation, its charitable arm. “We truly expect this to become the flagship for similar programs across Canada and around the world. Most immediately, we are looking forward to delivering a great program for these industrial athletes in a way that will serve as the model for City of Burnaby professionals and employees in other fields.”

The Fortius Performance Health Program for Burnaby Firefighters covers comprehensive prevention screening, functional physical assessments, injury prevention protocols and job specific training and fitness programs. Working within the provisions of the Burnaby Fire Department’s insurance programs, comprehensive injury management will support multiple areas of early intervention, in collaboration with the member’s health care provider. These action-oriented initiatives will be central to the new partnership program, along with tracking of measurable data to validate health outcomes and cost savings. Tracking will be provided in partnership with BC Sports Cardiology, one of a group of highly-touted external collaborators on the project.

“Our goal in the Fire Department is to provide the highest level of Emergency service to the Citizens of Burnaby,” said Doug McDonald, Chief of the Burnaby Fire Department. “The initiative is about helping our Firefighters perform at their best in protecting and serving the community. This great opportunity will help us accomplish those goals by preventing injuries and improving our overall health.  We are thrilled to partner with Fortius Sport & Health on this initiative.”

The overall program will be made up of four major components: (1) Comprehensive Medical Screening diagnosis and injury management; (2) Functional ability screening leading to personalized training programs for each firefighter; (3) Early intervention of therapy services; and (4) Review of injury data and trends leading to design and modification of Injury Prevention programs.

“The Health and Wellness of our membership is always a top priority. And this partnership will play a key role with the health of the Burnaby Firefighters,” said Rob Lamoureux, President Burnaby Firefighters Local 323. “It will help all of our members deal with the extreme physical and mental stresses faced by Firefighters. It is certainly a welcomed initiative by our members and their families and a tribute to all of the community partners involved from the City, the Department, the Union and Fortius Sport & Health.”

The Performance Health program will be guided by medical and physical testing protocols formulated and developed by Fortius Institute practitioners to create a world-leading approach to supporting and serving the industrial athlete.

“We are excited to begin working with the Burnaby Firefighters to deliver a comprehensive health and wellness program over the long term,” said Randy Goodman, Director of Institute Operations for Fortius Sport & Health.  “We have dedicated many months to studying and developing a program that is designed to significantly improve outcomes for the health of Firefighters, which ultimately strengthens our community.”

As part of the Performance Health partnership, Burnaby Firefighters will have access to the integrated team of sport & exercise medicine practitioners at the Fortius Institute, along with the facilities of The Training Centre @ Fortius, The Lab @ Fortius and The Cauldron @ Fortius, the only authentic PowerWatts cycling studio in British Columbia.


Breaking News:
BC to recognize heart disease as job-related stress for firefighters

Monday, March 10, 2014 - With over 100 BC firefighters attending the Robert E. Hall Legislative Conference in Victoria, the BC government has announced it will introduce legislation today that allows firefighters to claim heart disease, including heart attacks, as job-related stress. Read more here:

Vancouver Sun

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