NVFC Chair Takes Firefighter Health Message on the Road

National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair Kevin D. Quinn has a very personal connection to the message of annual medical evaluations for firefighters – a routine physical saved his life. Quinn was unaware he had a dangerous heart condition until a firefighter physical uncovered abnormalities. He is now taking his message on the road to encourage all firefighters to get annual screenings to proactively protect their health. Early detection is critical in uncovering heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases and risk factors so they can be treated.

The NVFC recently adopted a position advocating annual medical assessments for all firefighters and emergency personnel. While researching different types of physicals available, Quinn participated in a firefighter physical at the Cherryville (NC) Fire Department in the summer of 2016. The results uncovered a heart condition, and Quinn underwent heart bypass surgery to resolve the issue. Without the early detection, he likely would have ultimately suffered a heart attack, possibly while on an emergency scene.

Quinn is now hitting the road to share his story and inspire others to take actions to protect their health. On June 3 he served as the keynote speaker for the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association annual conference, and used his story to illustrate why firefighter physicals are so important. On June 6, he addressed the National Fire Protection Association’s First Responder Health Forum to emphasize the importance of firefighter health and annual medical evaluations (read article). While at the Forum, he was also interviewed by radio station WBZ in Boston to discuss the importance of firefighter physicals.  On June 9 he was in Myrtle Beach, SC, presenting the course “Fit for Duty, Fit for Life: Critical Considerations” at the NVFC Training Summit, which focused on cardiac health and medical evaluations.

“Annual physicals are a vital component of firefighter preparedness. We can’t serve at our best if we have underlying health factors inhibiting our performance or presenting a danger to ourselves and others,” Quinn said. “Early detection of illnesses and risk factors is critical in making sure firefighters receive the treatment they need for the best chance at a successful outcome. By sharing my personal story, I hope to help others understand how important medical evaluations truly are and inspire action.”

Learn more about the importance of physicals and Quinn’s story in this article from International Fire Fighter magazine.

Quinn was the keynote speaker at the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association conference. Quinn addressed the National Fire Protection Association First Responder Health Forum.
Radio station WBZ in Boston interviewed Quinn about the importance of firefighter health. Quinn presented “Fit For Duty, Fit for Life: Critical Considerations” at the 2017 NVFC Training Summit