Riverdale firefighters push healthy message

Riverdale firefighters push healthy message

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RIVERDALE, Ga. -

Clayton County has the unwelcome distinction of been named one of the most unhealthy counties in metro Atlanta. But, the Riverdale Fire Service is coming to the rescue. It has launched a new program that focuses on helping residents get in better shape.

Firefighters at the Riverdale Fire Service start their shift by using exercises from the H.E.R.O. Program. It's centered around helping the community get fit and healthy.

"Our current call volume is 86 percent EMS and 14 percent fire," said Division Chief Don Cole.

"We've always done fire prevention. Why don't we do health emergency prevention," said Sgt. Gary Mennard.

Firefighters encourage Rriverdale residents to improve their lives through diet and exercise. Those are lessons that they practice every day.

Firefighter Kenny Edmondson is battling ulcer colitis. He says the program documents his exercise, his healthy eating and weight gain. He says it is possible to live and function while battling a disease.

Fellow firefighter Parker Simpson is on a mission to lose weight.

"We are trying to be the best we can be to help protect them," said Simpson.

Not only is he promoting a healthier lifestyle to the community, but he's taking action and doing it himself.

"We are not just shoving a bunch of information out there and saying go do this. We want to show that we are taking stock in it, too. We think it's just as important for ourselves as it is for the community," said Simpson.

The Riverdale Firefighters even go out on Highway 85 in Riverdale and do exercises to draw attention to the importance of staying active. They have launched a Facebook page that gives residents healthy tips, recipes, and exercises to do.

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