Health initiative aims to help first responders

Program designed to help with job-related stresses

ORLANDO, Fla. – Captain Rich Ring has dedicated his life to serving and protecting the families of Orlando. As a police officer for 24 years, he's seen it all.

He says his high-risk profession and the stresses that come along with it have not only impacted his own life but his family's lives as well.

"Most officers have tendency to hold it in and not talk about the job at home because it bothers them," Ring said. "Having to go out chase these people…stressful situation…hard on them"

Ring has two sons who are also police officers.

But now families of first responders have a new way to vent. The YMCA is teaming up with those families on a new exercise initiative called Helping Heroes Health. The program is designed to prioritize the mental and physical health of first responders and their families.

"It helps keep physically fit…save taxpayer dollars," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

Helping Heroes Health will also reach out to first responders on September 11, a day that holds a great deal of significance to emergency workers everywhere.

The initiative will run until September 11, and is open to first responders from all across Central Florida.