On November 16, 2000, a 49-year-old male Driver/Operator (D/O) participated in a wildland fire exercise as part of the United States Forest Service Wildland Fire Fighter Ared card@ certification. After cleaning debris from the plowline, the D/O collapsed. Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced life support (ALS) performed on the scene by crew members and paramedics, and by hospital personnel at the emergency department (ED), the victim died. The death certificate, completed by the Medical Examiner, listed Aatherosclerotic cardiovascular disease@ as the immediate cause of death. The autopsy report, completed by the Medical Examiner, listed "heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia)" as the cause of death and Aatherosclerotic cardiovascular disease@ as the contributing factor. The following recommendations address some general health and safety issues identified during this investigation. This list includes some preventive measures that have been recommended by other agencies to reduce the risk of on-the-job heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters. These selected recommendations have not been evaluated by NIOSH, but represent published research, consensus votes of technical committees of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or fire service labor/management groups. Issues relevant to this Fire Department include: 1) Incorporate exercise stress tests into the Fire Departmentís periodic medical evaluation program: 2) Clear Fire fighters for duty by a physician knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting and the various components of NFPA 1582: 3) Phase in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity.
Region-4; Fire-fighting; Fire-fighters; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-function-tests; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Medical-examinations; Physical-fitness; Physical-stress; Safety-measures; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries