On March 10, 2001, a 53-year-old male career Driver-Engineer, while working overtime at Station 16, heard his regular-shift Engine company (Engine 32) dispatched to a call. Soon after, he began breathing heavily and subsequently stopped breathing. Crew members assessed him and found him to be unresponsive, not breathing, and pulseless. Approximately 41 minutes later, despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) administered on the scene and at the hospital, the victim died. The autopsy revealed hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The death certificate listed "hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease" as the immediate cause of death. The following recommendations address some general health and safety issues. 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 or consensus votes of technical committees of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or fire service labor/management groups. 1) Provide mandatory annual medical evaluations to ALL fire fighters to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others; 2) Provide fire fighters with medical evaluations and clearance to wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA); 3) Incorporate exercise stress tests into the Fire Departmentís medical evaluation program; 4) Phase in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity.
Region-6; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Fire-safety; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-function-tests; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Medical-examinations; Medical-monitoring; Medical-screening; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Training