Three Simple Ideas to a Healthier Fire Service

This is the last of three columns in which we revisit issues related to attaining the goal of a healthier fire service. The first installment (March 2011) covered effects of stress and overexertion on firefighters. The second column (May 2011) looked at...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

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.