News from BSO

SKINNY WINNERS GET BIG FAT CHECK

WHOOO’S THE WINNER OF THE OWL CONTEST?

Date: April 22, 2014                      PIO # 14-4-30

OWL WINNERS ANNOUNCED
11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 24
Ron Cochran Public Safety Building
2601 W. Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale


Firefighters from the Broward Sheriff’s Office will find out who the biggest loser is in the department’s innovative Obesity and Weight Loss (OWL) Program Thursday when Sheriff Scott Israel presents the first-place, winning team with a super-sized check for $20,000.


Participation in the OWL Program was strictly voluntary, yet nearly 60 percent, or approximately 400 firefighters, stepped up to the scale for a whopping total loss of 2,541 pounds. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue’s Division of Accreditation, Safety, Wellness, Grants and Recruitment developed the OWL Program with the BSO Risk Management Division in October 2013 after participating in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Fuel 2 Fight Study, which revealed firefighters are at increased risk for injury and cardiovascular events.


“Our firefighters are not the only winners in the OWL Program. Our community is also a big winner,” Sheriff Scott Israel said. “By focusing on their health and decreasing risk factors such as obesity, they are better fit to better serve our residents and visitors.”


The success of the OWL Program was due, in great part, to community partnerships with Coventry Health Care of Florida, Baptist Health South Florida, Broward Health, Whole Foods Market, Gatorade, Marsh USA, YMCA, Midlands and Weight Watchers.


“Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue was an excellent partner for our FEMA-funded Fuel 2 Fight Study,” Sarah A. Jahnke, PhD., director and principal investigator at the Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research at the National Development & Research Institutes.“They took our initial findings as motivation to make health and wellness even more of a priority. Their innovative use of a team challenge for weight loss produced amazing results that will likely result in a significant savings over time in health and worker’s compensation claims.”


This report by:
Mike Jachles/PIO
04/22/14 1500


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