October 01, 2013

Coinciding with the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the Y of Central Florida was pleased to recently launch a new initiative to improve the health and well-being of more than 16,000 area first responders and their families.

Made possible through the generosity of Dr. Phillips Charities, the program has enabled us to invite area first responders – police, firefighters and EMTs – and their families to become part of the Y family in order to improve their own health, wellness and mental well-being.

This time of year, we all recall the unforgettable images of first responders rushing into burning buildings to save others. Their bravery reminds us of how they are driven to protect the public at all costs – often at the expense of their own well-being. That’s why it feels terrific to honor and support our local local heroes through this campaign.

In addition to helping them reduce stress, we’re also making sure they and their families have access to youth and family programs, healthy living resources and places where they can connect with one another and de-stress in off-duty time.

We also want to thank Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney, Orange County Fire Chief Otto Drozd and Winter Park Fire Chief Jim White for their support in launching this program and highlighting its importance to the dedicated men and women who make our community safe.