Going into a fire isn't exactly your average day job. In fact, all law enforcement personnel have high stress, physically demanding jobs. And unfortunately their hearts suffer. Tammy Lopes is the Reno Division Fire Chief. "The thing that kills firemen and policemen more often than anything is cardiovascular incidents."
Jackie Cox is the president of Speciality Health. She and her partners created a program to help identify members from northern Nevada's law enforcement agencies who are at high risk of heart attacks and other chronic diseases. Once they are identified, they are brought into the program that offers physician visits, nutrition counseling and an exercise program designed specifically for the patient. Jackie says it's saving the city millions of dollars. "Every time somebody has an event, an officer or policeman or fireman, has an event it costs it cost the state or it costs the city or it costs the county $1.2 million."
25 Reno firefighters have been referred to the program so far. Ben Rupert is one of them. He is pre-diabetic and his cholesterol is dangerously high. Ethan Opdahl will monitor his body fat, weight, BMI and then give him an exercise program. And Dr. Scott Hall will work with him to get his numbers down. "It seems like I'm just a walking time bomb; when you look at the blood work and they do those dots that show the red and yellow and greens and you see all the red on them. It really starts to bring it home."
Because home is exactly where Specialty Health wants all of our law enforcement officers to end up after a day on the job.
For more information on the program, which is now available to the general public as well, go to www.specialtyhealth.com or call 775-398-3631Written By Wendy Damonte