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A Wellness Success: Orange County Fire Fighters WEFIT

Posted Aug 24 2008 2:21pm
Yet another example of how a great corporate wellness program can have amazing benefits for employees—as well as ROI and the bottom line.



The Orange County Fire Authority in Irvine, Calif., has seen a $1 million drop in its workers comp reserve each year for the last three years, thanks to a comprehensive wellness and fitness program called WEFIT that includes



* a voluntary medical examination

* blood work

* hearing and vision exams

* a fitness test

* immunization and disease screening

* lifestyle counseling



More than 90 percent of Orange County firefighters participate in the four-year-old initiative, and the results are inspiring.



"We've really caught some guys with heart disease " before they had an episode,” Fausto Reyes, the Fire Authority’s risk manager, recently told Business Insurance.



A public entity has to justify spending money on wellness, of course.



According to the group’s website, “By detecting potential medical or physical ailments ahead of time, they increase the quality of life for the individual and reduce the potential costs associated with firefighter-specific injuries. In the first two years of implementation of [WEFIT], the OCFA showed reduction of over fifty percent in the number of back injuries! That is a tremendous benefit to the members of the OCFA and the communities they serve. A healthy and fit firefighter can perform more efficiently and more safely, thus increasing effectiveness and longevity.”



To say nothing of the healthcare savings that comes from not having to treat all those back injuries.



Do you have a similar success story? I think we should all start spreading the word about what a good wellness program can do for both individuals and corporations.
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