EFD gets new wellness grant that will pay for firefighters' EKG's

The Evansville Fire Department just received a federal grant that will help improve the health and wellness of firefighters.

The "Assistance to Firefighters Grant" is $233,000, and the city will match 20 percent or about $50,000 of it.

The money will go toward immunizations, behavioral health programs as well as medical evaluations.

Dan Grimm, with the Evansville Fire Department, says the health evaluations will include blood work to test for certain chemicals.

Firefighters will also have EKG's to check for early signs of cardiac problems, which Grimm says firefighters have an "extremely" high chance of.

"Going from what we call zero to a hundred in two seconds. You're resting and the tone goes off, you're up, you're out and have all your gear on. And, thirty seconds later you may be in a building that is on fire. So the stress level is extremely high for firefighters all over the nation," says Grimm.

Grimm says about 50 percent of firefighters die from heart attacks on the fire ground.