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Alice firefighters becoming healthy heroes

Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-10 19:23:18-05

The Alice Fire Department isn’t just fighting fires these days. They’re also fighting bad eating habits in their community.

The International Association of Firefighters says heart disease and cancer levels are high among firefighters. Now, the Alice Fire Department hopes to change that statistic by first, educating their crew about the importance of being healthy and then informing others.

“One of the easier ways to actually fix that problem is just eating healthy,” Alice firefighter Roy Hernandez said. “It’s just in the kitchen.”
That’s when the Alice Fire Department took it upon themselves to become healthy heroes. Firefighters are known to work long hours and spend most of their time at the fire station. When they’re not battling fires, they’re relaxing, working out or eating – and some meals aren’t considered the healthiest.

However, over the past several months, select Alice firefighters attended a wellness training with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Their crews are now trained to spread healthy tips, information and recipes to their community.

Recently, the department held a healthy cooking class for their crews, with hopes of having one for the community too. Crews are also participating in a “Maintain no Gain” challenge. It’s an effort for crews to maintain their weight during the holidays.

Thomas Hernandez, an Alice Firefighter who is also diabetic, says the department has received a positive response so far. “I think it’s an awakening,” Thomas Hernandez said. “They’re realizing if we can do it, they can do it as well.”

Soon, the Alice Fire Department hopes to broadcast healthy cooking shows and provide healthy lifestyle advice.

Alice firefighters were the first, first-responders in the state to complete wellness training through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.