Public Safety Medical is privileged to have a rich history of influencing first responder health and safety at the state and national level. Below is a timeline of our history.
1980 – 1989
In the 1980’s, Thomas Miller, an Indianapolis firefighter, sought to establish a medical evaluation designed around the needs of firefighters due to the growing prevalence of death from heart attacks and other health issues that were becoming safety concerns. Dr. Steven Moffatt became a trusted partner to oversee and design the Indianapolis Fire Department’s medical surveillance program. Thomas Miller is now the General Secretary Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters labor organization.
1990 – 1999
In the 1990’s, Public Safety Medical was formed by Dr. Steven Moffatt. His practice began to detect heart disease before heart attacks, cancers in the early stages, and the injury numbers of the department began to decrease. In 1996, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) began a collaboration to design an internationally recommended health and safety program to prevent early death and disability in the fire service.
Due to Public Safety Medical’s early success, the IAFF/IAFC asked the local 416, the Indianapolis Fire Department, and Public Safety Medical to participate in that founding task force. Out of that initiative came three programs: the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), the IAFF/ACE Peer Fitness Trainer program, and the IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative. In 1999, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine awarded Indianapolis and Public Safety Medical with the coveted Corporate Health Achievement Award. This award recognized our efforts in improving the health and safety of Marion County public safety employees. Indianapolis was the first municipality ever to receive this award.
2000 – 2010
The IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative continued to grow in influence. In 2003, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adjusted their 1582 standard to comply with the standards listed in this program. The National Fallen Fire Fighters (NFFF) went on to advocate for this program as well. At the same time, Public Safety Medical continued to experience fast growth. Our trusted partners increased from a handful of departments to working with over 200 public safety agencies. With a commitment to lead the fight against early death and disability, Public Safety Medical joined the medical advisory board for the IAFF John P. Redmond Foundation as well as the advisory board for the NIOSH Cardiovascular Disease Study.
Public Safety Medical Today
In the early 2010’s, Public Safety Medical began developing research partnerships with the leading researchers in public safety as a clinical extension of their great work. As a response to mental health concerns among first responders, Public Safety Medical acquired the psychological evaluations division of the Institute for Public Safety Personnel (IPSP). This acquisition was important because it created a center for both the medical and psychological evaluations. Both Public Safety Medical’s medical evaluations and IPSP’s psychological evaluations have been successfully defended in Federal Court.
Public Safety Medical expanded its focus to include the health and safety of transit system drivers. We were chosen to perform the first national pilot study of rural transit drivers consisting of approximately 1000 drivers across the state of Indiana. We were also tasked with evaluating the impact of a landmark legislative change involving the medical requirements of CDL holders.
Additionally, Public Safety Medical initiated a Public Safety Cardiovascular Disease Early Detection and Prevention Program as a 3-year pilot. We have performed hundreds of coronary calcium scores in a population of 1200 firefighters over a 2-year timeframe.
Public Safety Medical began serving as a consultant to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) TRACS Committee which was charged to provide recommendations to congress regarding the safety of transit drivers in the United States. We also held our inaugural fire service wellness-fitness symposium with 150 attendees.
Public Safety Medical was commissioned to create a public-safety-focused health and wellness chapter for the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This is the only physician-led organization in the United States that is dedicated to the health and safety of first responders.
Public Safety Medical introduced the National Institute for Public Safety Health with a mission to provide the highest quality clinical research, education, and advocacy to maximize the health and safety of public safety personnel. Public Safety Medical was asked to serve as a technical committee member for the National Fire Protection Association’s 1582 Standard that is focused on the requirements for a comprehensive occupational medical program for public, governmental, military, private, and industrial fire departments.
Public Safety Medical celebrates 25 years of service! Additionally, we held our inaugural law enforcement wellness-fitness symposium and added a new physician to our team.
Public Safety Medical is committed to leading the fight to improve the health and safety of public safety professionals. We have pursued and committed ourselves to becoming a national Center of Excellence for public safety medical and psychological services, and we have joined the conversation at a national level regarding public policy.