This column has run once per month for a year now, so I guess I will let you in on a “Best Kept Secret!” The 2012 Sugar Land Firefighter Calendar is in the works, and it will benefit Child Advocates of Fort Bend. This is the first firefighter fitness calendar in Fort Bend County!
I want to share the story of just how this came about and why it is benefiting so many people. I interviewed Lt. Mike Kugler, an inspector- investigator with the Sugar Land Fire Prevention Division, to get the scoop as accurate as possible. Mike started work a while back with the City of Sugar Land Wellness Committee. This committee of city employees (across all departments) looks for inexpensive ways to improve all employees’ health through fitness, nutrition and other healthy habits. The benefits to healthy living obviously help the employees feel better and live a longer, healthier life. Moreover, it lowers insurance costs from fewer illnesses and trips to see the doctor. This benefits the city and the citizens that pay the bills.
As I was talking to Lt. Kugler, I could sense the passion he has for this endeavor. I was impressed with the commitment that he and other calendar worthy firefighter prospects were exhibiting. Mike realized from his research on the Wellness Committee that we can reduce the number of firefighters that die each year from cardiac arrest. More firefighters die from this condition than any other. He wanted something that could motivate firefighters to “get fit” and directly benefit the community.
After getting approval from the fire chief and securing initial funding from the Sugar Land Professional Firefighters Association, Mike found an award winning local photographer named Alisa Murray to work with. The firefighters participating in this challenge represent 30 percent of our suppression staff. They had initial weight and body fat calculations completed. Every two months they go to a local business partner to weigh in and check body fat composition to monitor progress. They have been provided direction on proper nutrition and fitness workouts, and local sponsors have provided nutritional products.
“The preparation and photo segment of this project is seven months in duration,” said Kugler. “However, the time commitment is much greater than that when you consider the numerous calendar signings that will be scheduled in an effort to sell every copy of this calendar for the children in need in our area.”
The 2012 Sugar Land Firefighter calendars will be for sale online and at select locations beginning in October 2011. More to come on availability in the near future!
For more information on a healthy heart, please see www.heart.org.
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