ORANGE COUNTY, CA
 

IAFF Local Orange County Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 3631
District 10
Department Orange County Fire Authority
Members 850 All Career
Contact Information Natalie Nacker wefit@ocfa.org


 


Approach

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) believes that the best way to provide the highest level of service to the communities it serves is to ensure that the best resources are available to provide that service. In keeping with that philosophy, the OCFA implemented the IAFF)/(IAFC) Joint LaborManagement Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI) in 2003. This comprehensive program incorporates the five following areas:

Medical Examinations
Fitness Evaluations
Behavioral Health
Rehabilitation Services
Data Collection
Immunization & Disease Screening

OCFA fire fighters are offered these comprehensive medical and fitness exams annually.The exams are performed in a confidential setting in which the member has the opportunity to have a consultation with a physician. The evaluations include a full blood panel assessment, hearing and vision exams, chest x-rays and a fitness exam. These types of exams have shown to be very helpful to the individual and the organization. By detecting potential medical or physical ailments early, they increase the quality of life for the individual and reduce the potential costs associated with fire fighter-specific injuries.

In the first two years of implementation of the WFI, the OCFA showed a reduction of more than 50 percent in the number of back injuries. That is a tremendous benefit to the members of the OCFA and the communities they serve. A healthy and fit fire fighter can perform more efficiently and more safely, thus increasing effectiveness and longevity. One does not need to go far to see the increasing cost of worker's compensation claims and the associated detriments to the organizations. This program proactively addresses many of the concerns for fire fighter safety and community protection.

The OCFA has supported this program by establishing the following positions for the Wellness & Fitness (WEFIT) program under the oversight of the OCFA risk manager: a program manager and an administrative assistant. The program manager is a fire captain or fire fighter) who is assigned to this program full time. His or her responsibilities include acting as the liaison between labor and management, designing and managing the medical examination for all fire companies, supervising the Peer Fitness Trainers and the administrative assistant, coordinating any fitness equipment needs or resources with the exercise physiologist and facilitating outreach programs to the community.

Medical

Facility Contracted - UCI Center for Occupational & Environmental Health
Physician UCI Dr. Leslie Israel, Medical Director
Additional Staff N/A
Exam Frequency Every 2 years
Exam Details see attached document

WEFIT Immunization Screening Agreement

Fitness

IAFF/IAFC PFTs 40 certified PFTs
Duties Education

Fitness assessments

Academy fitness

Fitness program design/implementation

One-on-one training at stations

Exercise Time

On duty, 60-90 minutes per shift

Exercise Program Core strength

Academy PT

Quarterly classes

Contract with training and rehab vendor

Equipment Full compliment or gym memberships
Nutrition Currently being developed

Injury-Rehab

Method Physical therapy contract, Coury & Buehler Physical Therapy

Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) - required by CalOsha

Modified/Light Duty Yes, as needed
Injury Prevention Committee

Safety & Occupational Health Committee - represents Injury Prevention Committee

WEFIT Rehab Brochure

Behavioral Health

Method On own or referred by Management
EAP Yes
Stress Management

Yes

Cost Justification

Method Yes - program has proven to be cost reducing in terms of worker's comp claims and lost time of work hours

OCFA 2008 Workers' Compensation Report
WEFIT Tables and Figures
WEFIT Savings
 

Data Collection

Method Medical Information System
Data Collected Data Report 2004-2008

Implementation

WEFIT Program Implementation Agreement