DOI to Establish Health and Wellness Program for Wildland Firefighters

June 22, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
DOI to Establish Health and Wellness Program for Wildland Firefighters
Corpsmembers on the Fortuna 1 Type 2 hand crew hike along the fire line as they work to protect homes from the Zogg Fire near Igo, Ca. (California Conservation Corps photo)

A health and well-being program for wildland firefighters is being created by the U.S. Department of the Interior, said Secretary Deb Haaland Friday. 

Haaland also announced the allocation of $103 million in fiscal year 2022 for wildfire risk reduction efforts throughout the country through the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

The health and wellness program will be established through a 5-year monitoring, maintenance and treatment roadmap established by the DOI in April among federal, non-federal and tribal partners. 

DOI research indicates that firefighters and other first responders may be at elevated risk for negative mental health impacts due to their work environment. 



The wellness program would streamline and expand on existing mental health programs and work with the Office of Wildland Fire to support firefighter resilience, improve mental preparedness and address the effects from cumulative stress.

The U.S. Forest Service and other first responder groups will also explore additional woodland firefighting mental health programs and will develop a fully funded plan in 2022. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study to assess fire personnel well-being, occupational risk factors, exposure to smoke and respiratory health outcomes.


Starting this month, multiple online surveys will be distributed to federal wildland firefighters through their safety managers to continue to develop evidence on the mental health challenges these workers face in their everyday work. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
White House Blueprint Tackles Maternal Health Crisis 

The White House has new plans to address maternal mortality through the Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an effort... Read More

The White House has new plans to address maternal mortality through the Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an effort to increase access and coverage for certain maternal health services, including behavioral health. The blueprint outlines five priorities to improve maternal health and outcomes: increasing access... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
FDA Advisors Lean Into Modifying COVID-19 Vaccines to Be Omicron-Specific

Key advisors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration met on Tuesday to examine COVID-19 vaccines and whether there is need for... Read More

Key advisors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration met on Tuesday to examine COVID-19 vaccines and whether there is need for modification as protection wanes. During the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting, a majority of the panel, 19-2, ruled in favor of manufacturing an... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 Sails Through House

The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 was passed by the House on June 22 to tackle mental... Read More

The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 was passed by the House on June 22 to tackle mental illness and substance use disorder in the country, especially for rural and low-income communities.  The act passed the House with a vote of 402-20, and reauthorizes... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Equity and Accountability Act Addresses Health Disparities

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., have provided a roadmap for eliminating racial and ethnic health inequities. The senators’... Read More

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., have provided a roadmap for eliminating racial and ethnic health inequities. The senators’ new legislation is called the Health Equity and Accountability Act, and they released it on June 24. The bill lays out 10 provisions and additional investments Congress... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO Members Express Continued Concerns Over COVID and Monkeypox 

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called Wednesday for accelerated efforts to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine. He said that while... Read More

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called Wednesday for accelerated efforts to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine. He said that while honing vaccines to the evolving virus variants makes sense, he is concerned that the pace of mutation means the world is continuing to play catch up. ... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
NIH-Funded Study Reveals Evolutionary Tricks Tied to Health Longevity

National Institutes of Health-funded research released on June 23 offers new insights into why aging rates vary when it comes to evolutionary... Read More

National Institutes of Health-funded research released on June 23 offers new insights into why aging rates vary when it comes to evolutionary tricks, such as having armor and venom. The research was led by Ronald Kohanski, who serves as a director of the National Institute on Aging at... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top