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Fire fighter dies as a result of a cardiac arrest while fighting a brush/grass Fire - Massachusetts.

Hales T; Baldwin TN; Sexson K; Fabio A
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 99-F13, 1999 Nov; :1-7
On April 11, 1998, a 49-year-old male off-duty career Fire Fighter from the neighboring Fire Department was assisting the local Fire Department that served the area where he lived to suppress a brush/grass fire near his house when he collapsed due to a cardiac arrest. Despite immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) administered by fire fighters, followed by advanced life support (ALS) administered by paramedics and emergency department personnel, the victim died. The death certificate and autopsy reported coronary artery disease as the immediate cause of death. The following recommendations address preventive measures that have been recommended by other agencies to reduce, among other things, the risk of on-duty heart attacks and cardiac arrests among fire fighters. These recommendations have not been evaluated by NIOSH but represent research presented in the literature, consensus votes of technical committees of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), or products of labor/management technical committees within the fire service. This preventive strategy consists of (1) minimizing physical stress on fire fighters; (2) screening to identify and subsequently rehabilitate high-risk individuals; and (3) encouraging increased individual physical capacity (fitness). Issues relevant to this fire department include: 1. Fire Fighters should have annual medical evaluations to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others; 2. Reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity by phasing in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters.
Fire-fighting; Fire-fighters; Fire-hazards; Accidents; Fatalities; Emergency-responders; Medical-screening; Physical-fitness; Region-1
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 27, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division