On April 18, 2004, a 45-year-old male career District Chief (DC) was relieved from his shift and dropped off at his residence. Approximately 21 hours later, he was found lying on his couch unresponsive, pulseless, not breathing, cyanotic, and mottled. Due to his clinical appearance (deceased), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was not begun and no ambulance was requested. The death certificate and autopsy report, both completed by the County Coroner, listed "cardiac arrhythmia" as the cause of death due to "ischemic heart disease." The first four recommendations below are preventative measures recommended by other fire service groups to reduce the risk of on-the-job heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters. The final recommendation addresses a potential safety issue related to this particular event. 1. Include a lipid panel in the Fire Department's excellent pre-placement medical evaluation program. 2. Provide mandatory annual medical evaluations to ALL fire fighters consistent with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1582 to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others. 3. Negotiate with the local union to phase in a mandatory fitness and wellness program consistent with NFPA 1583 and/or the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness/Fitness Initiative. 4. Negotiate with the local union to phase in an annual physical ability test. 5. Ensure that fire fighters are cleared for duty by a physician familiar with the consensus guidelines published by the NFPA 1582 and knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting.
Region-5; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Heart; Physical-stress; Physical-fitness; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Medical-screening; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Medical-examinations; Medical-monitoring; Medical-screening