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December 1, 2015
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January 29, 2016
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December Newsletter

Cardiac Concerns

According to USFA, 59 firefighters died of heart attacks while on duty in 2014 (PDF). While research is continuing to tell us more about the effects of firefighting on the cardiovascular system, there’s a lot we know right now:

What does this all mean?

Firefighting is a physically demanding job with significant, complex effects. The unseen physical stressors on the human body also play a role in undermining the health and wellbeing of firefighters.

While we learn more about these risks, especially more about the physical costs of firefighting, understanding our own individual and departmental responsibilities are key. For the individual, it means taking a long, hard look at your own genetic risk factors and your lifestyle choices. For departments, it means investing in wellness programs such as the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness/Fitness Initiative.

To help address the challenges associated with firefighter health and wellness, the IAFC and its Safety, Health and Survival Section are seeking fire departments and physicians conducting NFPA 1582-compliant physicals to help with the newest FSTAR effort

Featured Studies

Featured Studies translate research studies into information and tools you can use. Available now:

Visit our complete collection. Stay tuned for more!

Fire Service Resources

Under the direction of Denise L. Smith, PhD, Skidmore College’s First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory has published many studies in recent years on the cardiovascular health concerns of firefighters. Check out their fire service resources, including Effect of Heat Stress and Dehydration on Cardiovascular Function (PDF) and Sudden Cardiac Events in the Fire Service: Understanding the Cause and Mitigating the Risk (PDF).

Upcoming Events

December 29
Webinar: Beyond Fireground Risks: Cancer and Heart Disease in Today’s Fire and Emergency Service