Firefighters from Devon and Somerset Fire Service Red Watch have taken part in the Exeter 10,000 project.

Firefighters to join the Exeter 10,000

Firefighters from Devon and Somerset Fire Service Red Watch have taken part in the Exeter 10,000 project, run by the National Institute for Health Research Exeter Clinical Research Facility (CRF), University of Exeter Medical School (formerly Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry). 

The project aims to compile a research register of 10,000 individuals from the Exeter and East Devon area.

This will enable researchers to investigate common diseases such as diabetes and help improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention. 

The firefighters visited the NIHR Exeter CRF, where they provided information about their lifestyles and donated a sample of blood. This joined the Exeter 10,000 database, which currently holds records from over 5,300 volunteers.

Dr Gillian Baker, manager at the NIHR Exeter CRF, said: “We were delighted when Red Watch contacted us to let us know that its firefighters wanted to take part in the Exeter 10,000 project. It is great that they are prepared to give up time out of their busy schedules and we hope that their involvement will encourage other people to take part.”

Watch Commander Lee Blackburn from Red Watch Danes Castle Fire Station said: “This kind of research is invaluable in the fight against common diseases. Unfortunately we can almost guarantee that we or someone close to us may be affected by one of these diseases in our lifetimes. ”

He added: “My colleagues and I are delighted to support such an important project and we would encourage other organisations to take part too.”

Diabetes is an incurable and progressive condition characterised by too much glucose in the blood. It currently affects 2.8 million people in the UK (affecting one in eight people in Devon) rising to 4.6 million affected by 2030, the cost to care for diabetes patients in the NHS was 10 per cent of its entire annual budget in 2010.

More information about how individuals and businesses can get involved with the Exeter 10,000 project is available from the Peninsula NIHR Clinical Research Facility website or by calling 01392 406769.

Date: 5 September 2012