YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- The Lake Mohegan Fire Department and Yorktown Police Department are the winners in the 2015 Chief's Challenge for Fitness Jefferson Valley contest.
Each of the departments were awarded a $1,000 check.
The Challenge was designed by cardiologists at Phelps Hospital to improve the health and fitness of police and fire personnel by encouraging them to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle, said the announcement.
Working in collaboration with Club Fit in Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley, the Chief’s Challenge was established and is funded by the Heart and Health Education Foundation, directed by Franklin Zimmerman, MD, Arthur Fass, MD, and Dina Katz, MD, all members of the Phelps Medical Associates cardiology practice in Briarcliff Manor.
In all, there were 240 participants from 20 police departments and 24 fire departments throughout Westchester, Putnam and New York City.
The two winning departments tallied up the highest levels of participation by their members.
The program was inspired by Dr. Zimmerman's research. He is senior attending cardiologist at Phelps, and a nationally known researcher in the field of the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease in public safety personnel, said the release.His findings were included in the book, "Dying For The Job", edited by former New York State Trooper, John Violante, Ph.D.
“My research shows that law enforcement personnel have a high risk of heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obesity and metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. Zimmerman.
“In addition, there are occupation-specific risk factors unique to first responders, including shift work and psychological stress. Police officers, firefighters, and other public safety personnel need to be particularly vigilant in controlling cardiovascular risk factors, beginning with a regular exercise program such as the one offered at Club Fit.”
The 2016 Chief’s Challenge is under way.
Club Fit offers a half-off membership to active police and fire department personnel.
For more information about the 2016 Chiefs’ Challenge, call Jodi Costino at Club Fit Jefferson Valley at (914) 250-2721 or Joe DaRonco at Club Fit Briarcliff Manor at (914) 250-2783.
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