NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Preventing fire fighter fatalities due to heart attacks and other sudden cardiovascular events.

Hales-T; Jackson-S; Baldwin-T
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-133, 2007 Jun; :1-26
Fire fighters with medical conditions presenting a risk for sudden incapacitation pose a hazard to themselves, their co-workers, and civilians. Medical evaluations can diagnose these medical conditions. The fire service recommends medical evaluations and participation in comprehensive fitness and wellness programs to reduce the number of on-duty CVD fatalities. Findings from the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program have documented that few fire departments experiencing on-duty cardiac-related deaths of fire fighters have implemented member medical evaluation programs. Few have followed published guidelines regarding medical clearance for return-to-work. In addition, few have developed and encouraged participation in comprehensive fitness and wellness programs. These NIOSH findings were consistent with a subsequent USFA survey that report 76% of fire departments lacked programs to maintain basic fire fighter fitness and health [USFA 2006]. Obvious barriers to implementing these programs are costs, job security issues, and (for voluntary fire departments) maintaining a critical number of members. Additional research is needed to identify factors that can lower these barriers, thereby reducing the number of on-duty fire fighter fatalities due to CVD.
Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-function-tests; Medical-examinations; Fire-fighters; Preventive-medicine
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Alert
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-133
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Services: Public Safety
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division