The Houston Fire Department Receives Grant for Firefighter Health and Wellness

The AFG grant will provide cancer screenings and enhance firefighter health and safety

HOUSTON -The Houston Fire Department (HFD) was awarded a highly competitive Federal grant that will be used to complement existing cancer prevention efforts, plus enhance health and wellness programs within HFD. The grant, worth over $2 Million, is awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of their 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. This grant will allow for free cancer screenings, and NFPA 1582 compliant health and medical physicals for all HFD firefighters. The grant will also fund additional exercise equipment and several advanced training courses. The city will follow the procurement process for this project.

This program originates from Fire Chief Sam Peña’s, health and safety initiative. The health and safety of Houston Firefighters is of utmost importance and has been a strategic focus of the administration for the last five years. Significant investments have been made to provide personnel with safety training, and cancer prevention equipment.

“I could not be more grateful for the service of our firefighters. This administration has sought-out every opportunity to enhance firefighter safety. This grant ensures that our greatest assets—the men and women of the Houston Fire Department—are given the resources to stay healthy, and that the residents of Houston continue to receive exceptional public service from their Fire Department. A special thanks to HFD command and support staff for their diligent work in the acquisition of the AFG grant,” said Fire Chief Sam Peña.

The Federal share of this grant is $2,050,678, while the City of Houston’s 15 percent match equates to $307,601.

“I’m proud of Mayor Turner, and Houston City Council for investing in our people, and that our fire personnel will have additional tools to safeguard their health and well-being as they serve the Houston community. I’m excited to make good on this goal,” said Fire Chief Sam Peña.

The funds awarded will be dispersed as follows:

Cancer Screening
Firefighter cancer screening physicals for all firefighters (Firefighters have 9% higher rates of cancer when compared with the general population (NIOSH)): $2,011,900.

Training Course: Peer Fitness Trainer Project, including the certification of 100 personnel: $79,900
Training Course: Overtime expenses required to conduct synchronous online instruction: $88,000
Funds for each of these courses pays for salaries, wages, and benefits of participants as well as contractual and material costs.

Supplemental Fitness Equipment: Purchase of Ergonomic Rower for each of the 97 HFD workstations: $87,300
Supplemental Fitness Equipment: Purchase of dumbbell set for each of the 97 HFD workstations: $91,180

PIO Martee Black
[email protected]