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CFA keeps watch on members' health
A program designed to monitor the health of CFA members has exceeded expectations, saving at least one life and helping establish the largest volunteer health database in the world.
The health check, which is open to all members and their families, checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and also includes a cardiovascular risk assessment.
The program, which is run by CFA and strongly supported by Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV), has been running since 2004.
In the past four years alone, it has monitored the health of more than 9000 CFA volunteers.
CFA Health Wellbeing Officer, Peter Langridge, said it was yet another benefit to being a CFA member and over the years the team has received many heartfelt expressions of thanks.
“One of our greatest success stories was a 16-year-old boy who had an unexpected high blood pressure and was advised to visit his doctor and after a series of tests, he discovered he had a tumour in the side of his neck,” he said.
“Due to early detection, the teenager survived but he was told within only 6 to 9 months, it could have been incurable.
“We’ve also helped several members with early diagnoses of different health conditions so it’s great that in some small way, we’re able to give back to our members who dedicate so much of their time to CFA.”
The CFA health team set up Healthwatch tents at several events – such as the recent VFBV State Rural Fire Brigade Championships held in Werribee at the weekend where more than 140 volunteers were tested.
All test results are confidential and members leave with a printed copy of their risk assessment. CFA members with internet access can also monitor their results on the database from home.
Some members may be given a recommendation to visit their doctor to follow up on the results.
Photos by CFA's Blair Dellemijn