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This study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine also suggests that the rate of line-of-duty heart attacks for firefighters may be related to the burden of toxins inhaled during overhaul. This becomes more of a risk to those individuals who may not be in the best of health or have pre-existing coronary artery disease.
Therefore, it is imperative that all firefighters change their attitude about doing overhaul without protective SCBA. Our standard operating procedures (SOPs) must reflect the new research which clearly shows that we are putting ourselves in danger unnecessarily and at almost every structure fire. Again, it becomes an issue of leadership to change the way things are done to reduce the risk to our firefighters. This is the challenge of leadership.