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Volunteer lieutenant suffers sudden cardiac death at fire station while doing fitness training - New York.

Smith DL; Hales 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, FACE F2013-28, 2014 Apr; :1-12
On November 11, 2013, a 52-year-old volunteer Lieutenant (LT) attended the monthly business meeting at the fire department (FD). Following the meeting he went upstairs to use the exercise room. After approximately 5 minutes, members heard a crashing sound, found the LT unresponsive and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The ambulance crew that was stationed at that FD began advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). The LT was transported to the emergency department (ED) where ACLS continued. Despite these efforts, the LT died. The death certificate and autopsy report, both completed by the County's Chief Medical Examiner, listed the cause of death as "atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease." The autopsy revealed severe coronary atherosclerosis but no evidence of an acute thrombus or plaque hemorrhage. NIOSH offers the following recommendations to reduce the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters at this and other fire departments across the country. 1. Ensure that all fire fighters receive an annual medical evaluation consistent with NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments. 2. Ensure fire fighters are cleared for duty by a physician knowledgeable about the physical demands of firefighting, the personal protective equipment used by fire fighters, and the various components of NFPA 1582. 3. Perform an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation. 4. Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters.
Region-2; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Cardiac-function; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Medical-examinations; Heart; Preemployment-examinations; Medical-monitoring; Preventive-medicine; Physical-capacity; Physical-stress; Job-analysis; Physical-fitness
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2013-28; M042014
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 8, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division