"The goal is for them to do this, make that lifestyle change and make that long term change on their own," says HIT Center owner Aaron Marsten."
"The HIT Center trains both JSO officers and JFRD firefighters as part of their new contract with the city, which is worth $442,000 a year. The city pays the entire bill for an eight week training program and nutrition classes for any first responder that shows they have a heart related health problem, including hypertension and obesity."
"Only a small group of 100 has gone through the program so far but there are 480 JSO officers on the waiting list, all of them with a qualified heart condition.""But he says the city has seen a 700 percent increase in four years in heart related insurance claims from first responders, which is much more expensive than the prevention. Spencer says the cost to treat one first responder hospitalized for a heart attack is $200,000."