New Initiative Aims to Enhance Support Systems for Firefighters in Oregon 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal has announced the launch of the Oregon Fire Service Health and Safety Collaborative, a new program created to bolster support systems for Oregon's firefighters. This initiative aims to address the unique physical, psychological, and environmental challenges faced by those in the fire service. 


Focus Areas of the Collaborative 

The collaborative centers its efforts on several key areas to ensure comprehensive support for firefighters: 

  • Behavioral Health: Addressing mental health and wellness. 
  • Physical Wellness: Promoting fitness and health. 
  • Cancer Prevention: Reducing risks of occupational cancers. 
  • Incident Safety: Ensuring safety during firefighting operations. 
  • Collaborative Structure and Goals 

The Oregon Fire Service Health and Safety Collaborative is designed to promote a unified network of support, drawing together multiple agencies to ensure a holistic approach to firefighter health and safety. Key aspects of the collaborative structure include: 

  • Equal Contribution: A forum allowing all partners to contribute equally. 
  • Cross-Agency Coordination: Collaboration among different agencies. 
  • Diverse Representation: Including a range of fire service perspectives from across Oregon. 

Mariana Ruiz-Temple, the Oregon State Fire Marshal, described the program as a proactive step to support firefighters and foster long-term resilience and excellence. It aims to provide essential resources for behavioral health, cancer prevention, and incident safety, among other needs. 

Recognition and Future Adaptation 

The collaborative's success has already been recognized, earning the 2024 Award of Excellence from the Oregon Fire Chief’s Association. The program's continued development and adaptation will be key to meeting the evolving needs of Oregon's firefighting community. 


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How to Get Involved 

Firefighters and their partners are encouraged to join the Oregon Fire Service Health and Safety Collaborative. Through participation, they can contribute to creating a safer and healthier future for all. 

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