The First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths, Inc., a National Fallen Firefighters Foundation affiliate organization, was created in 2016. Its mission is to promote quality educational awareness and research to reduce physical and psychological health and wellness issues for first responders.
The National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation (NFFF) was created by Congress in 1992 in order to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the NFFF has developed and expanded programs that fulfill that mandate.
The NFFF has traditionally supported projects that serve its goals of honoring fallen firefighters, providing resources to survivors, and reducing firefighter deaths and injuries since its inception. The NFFF’s work in educating the firefighter community about health and disease prevention has led it to identify a broader need for all first responders – firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and other people who provide emergency services – to have access to and receive training in addressing common health, wellness and injury issues that arise due to the unique and important nature of their work. Identifying this gap in the education currently available to the first responder community as a whole led the NFFF to form the First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths, Inc.
In support of the NFFF, the First Responder Center plans to become the leading resource for first responders and their family members in addressing physical and psychological health issues and to promote research in relevant fields to increase awareness of first responder health issues as well as prevent first responder deaths and injuries. The FRC will develop innovative methods to address the growing concerns related to the presence of cancers within the first responder community; expand Stress First Aid, a new behavioral health intervention program; as well as develop 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.