Son of a DC fire chief, Tate has made improving health and wellness in the fire service his personal mission.
“In nine years of retirement, my dad had three heart attacks and cancer,” Tate said. “He never really got to enjoy his retirement after 32 years on the job. I saw the strongest man I knew go to the weakest man that I knew. Between him and Lieutenant McRae, it really drove me to try to make an impact in health and wellness in the fire service because it's definitely needed.”
Tate’s father worked for DC Fire and EMS from 1956 to 1989.
“I noticed that the culture of health in the fire service is a struggle and I wanted to do something to change that,” said Tate. “So I started Food on the Stove to serve firefighters and to change the culture of health and wellness in the fire service.”
In the fall of 2018, Tate launched the initiative Food on the Stove.
“It’s a double entendre,” Tate explained. “It's something we hear on a daily basis, the reason for the majority of calls we receive, but we really need to also pay attention to the food that we have on our stove in the firehouse.”
On Feb. 17, Tate and Food on the Stove executive chef Brazil Murphy brought their skills to Alexandria Fire Station 203 on Cameron Mills Road. Firefighters were given a presentation on healthy eating preparation and skills and were served a special meal prepared by Murphy.
“The mission of Food on the Stove is to provide tools and resources to help firefighters live a healthier lifestyle through enhanced nutrition and exercise,” Tate said. “We will return as much as the city would like to have us. We are looking forward to partnering with Alexandria to share the vision of Food on the Stove and to also change the heart and health of firefighters one meal at a time.”