1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default Interesting LODD article

    This is from the NFPA website

    Most firefighter deaths occur away from the fire
    But no matter where it happens, heart attack remains the leading killer

    May 20, 2003 – Fires are not the main killer of firefighters. Heart attacks and motor-vehicle crashes cause more on-duty firefighter deaths than smoke, heat, flames or collapsing buildings, according to an analysis of firefighter deaths in 2002 by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

    A total of 97 firefighters died on the job in 2002, roughly the same number as in each of the previous nine years, excluding the 340 deaths at the World Trade Center in 2001. But in eight of the last 10 years, fewer than half those deaths occurred within the building or land area where the fire was burning, known as the "fire ground."

    The majority of firefighter deaths—51—occurred traveling to or from an emergency, during training activities, during non-emergency duties (such as administration or equipment maintenance) and during non-fire emergencies (such as medical calls or motor-vehicle crashes).

    On the fire ground and off, heart attacks are the leading killer of firefighters. In 2002, 37 on-duty firefighters died of heart attacks—13 on the fire ground, eight while traveling to or from a fire or other emergency, seven while engaged in normal administrative activities, six at non-fire emergencies, two during training activities, and one while cleaning up after a tornado. In addition, two firefighters had strokes during training activities and one suffered an aneurysm at a medical call.

    Motor vehicles were another major cause of death, claiming 29 lives. Twenty-two firefighters were killed in crashes and seven were struck by vehicles, all while on duty. In the most catastrophic incident, five firefighters were killed and six injured when a 15-person passenger van overturned on its way to a wildland fire.

    "The biggest life threats to firefighters are not what most people may expect," said James M. Shannon, NFPA president. "Two firefighters died from burns last year, while the top killer continues to be heart attacks. What's most troubling is that most firefighters who died of heart failure suffered from known health problems."

    "NFPA has long had in place a standard, NFPA 1582, Requirements for Firefighters and Information for Fire Department Physicians, which lists the medical conditions that should preclude someone from working as a firefighter. These recommended precautions should be more widely used," said Shannon.

    On average, almost one-fifth of deaths have occurred in motor vehicle crashes.

    Other noteworthy findings in the new report:

    One of the worst wildland fire seasons in recent years took its toll: Last year, 22 firefighters died while working at or responding to wildland fires or a controlled burn.
    Firefighters older than 50 accounted for two-fifths of all firefighter deaths from 1998 through 2002, although they make up less than one-sixth of all firefighters.
    Nonresidential structures (except for health and educational facilities) are more dangerous to firefighters than homes. The highest death rates occurred in vacant building and buildings under construction.
    In 2002, no career firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergencies.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    211

    Post

    I'd have to agree that those are some interesting statistics.Unfortunately it's what we,as a community of firefighters, will do with those stats. Most likely we will put them out of our mind until the next LODD occurs from an MI. A few condolences will be posted and not much will change. The same goes for an traffic incident (note I din't refer to it as an "accident").

    We will go have super sized what ever, scream to the next grass fire driving with tunnel vision or some bozo will decide he's OK to drive an engine with 1 or 2 beers. Usually I am a hardened optimist. My glass is always half-full.But I'll tell you,I'm getting pretty discouraged every time I log on and see another needless death. Scroll down to the "health and fitness" postings and see how much is there. If you post on this forum it goes away with only 4-5 replies.

    We have a whole culture and lifestyle we have to change before you will see any dramatic drop in some of these numbers.Training goes beyond pulling out some trucks,squirting water,throwing ladders,ect.Training involves changing the mind-set of everyone involved in emergency response in everything from diet to excercise. The next time the station chef throws a rack of greasy ribs on the table, just feel your arteries clog. You don't have to necessarily kill yourself in the weight room, go out for a brisk walk in the neighborhood. Anything is better than nothing.

    People respect your opinion,George,and hopefully that may start some dicussion. If one person reads the report and thinks, "whoa,that could be me!",then you will have done a service.

    I posted this once before, but I'll repeat myself.....WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY, AND HE IS US!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    It may be that we need to take a chapter out of the Police health eating book. Last one to Dunkin Donuts gets the MI Last time I looked Heart Attacks were not even in the top 5 for police LODD.

    The real question is why? In Addison the police are forced to work out and stay fit. They have a physical ability test annually, that they have to pass or risk suspention. At a lot of FDs we have some work out equipment but you had better wash the chief's car, don't forget the windows, clean out the refrigerator, flush the floor drains, scrub the tile in the bathroom, first. Then if it is after 5 you can work out. I hope we don't get any of those bothersome calls that are going to interupt the work day

    While a bit exagerated I don't think we put the priority on working out. Just a thought.

    What do the rest of you do?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
    Posts
    5,636

    Default

    What do the rest of you do?
    Alot of what some of the rest of you do: sit at the computer!
    I have some of the most physically fit fingers in the universe. And occasionally, I will clench my butt if I feel it starting to go numb from sitting for so long.
    George: those are interesting facts. Unfortunately, I don't find them surprising. The over 50 stats are over stated. I have read LODD by heart failure in 39 year olds. I agree that the over 50 crowd will probably require a little more maintenance. That's a given. And I agree that there should be some protocols for fire depts. to have some form of physical fitness programs. But again, I have read about deaths AFTER a workout as well. I think that maybe the focus should be on lifestyles and eating habits. Oh and maybe reducing just a little of the stress from our stressful jobs.
    The vehicle accidents has always been a concern of mine. I have been very vocal about getting safely to the scene. That figure absolutely must be reduced.
    Probably the most surprising fact was that no career firefighter died going to or from a call last year. That is commendable.
    For the record, I do get out some. I am playing golf 3 times a week at the moment. We are riding our bicycles. I do alot of walking at work. In the bad weather months, we have a stationary bike.
    My problem is eating. I cannot seem to choose a healthier diet, although my cholesterol is good and BP is typically 124/78. I take daily medications, but for an old guy of 50, I manage.
    Heart attacks will continue to be a problem, because they can come at any time. They can strike someone young and old alike. They can have warning signs or not. I wish that we could more accurately predict who is or isn't a candidate.
    We can definitely legislate driving vehicles more safely whether they are POVs or apparatus.
    We should take responsibility and control of what we can.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    These numbers are of no surprise to me either. I have said for years that most, if not all LODD's are preventable. MV accidents are mostly preventable; most cardiac disease is detectable and treatable (I am 44 and I am not overweight, my BP is good, I exercise. But I underwent cardiac catheterization two years ago. Major lifestyle change). Many of the off-duty things are preventable. Many of the fireground incidents are preventable.

    Perhaps the over 50 numbers are somewhat overstated. But I have seen (somewhere) the numbers in the 60-80 years of age category. This is a young man's job. Many PD's have a mandatory retirement age. Why in God's name should a 75 YOA man be fighting fire? It's insane.

    I have never seen a study of the on-duty cardiac deaths of law enforcement officers. While the stereotypical donut consumer is popular, I think that overall, law enforcement has placed a higher premium on fitness than the fire service. Two examples (there are many more):

    1. The New Jersey State Police makes their members take a yearly physical. It includes a fitness test. If you fail the test, you lose your job.

    2. Many federal law enforcement agencies pay their employees for a certain amount of time per day (usually one hour) for physical fitness purposes.

    I am not pitting LEO's against FF in this matter. What I am saying is that their may be some lessons to be learned. It should be noted that the stats are generally not comparable because of the disparity between volunteer FF and LEO.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    2,983

    Default

    George
    Thanks for posting that article. I have seen a lot of those statistics already and I was surprised and saddened to see that the leading cause of death among firefighters is heart atacks.

    Flathead-
    We have a whole culture and lifestyle we have to change before you will see any dramatic drop in some of these numbers.Training goes beyond pulling out some trucks,squirting water,throwing ladders,ect.Training involves changing the mind-set of everyone involved in emergency response in everything from diet to excercise
    I have the culinary knowledge. I just started on the journey towrds my degree in Fire Science. My goal is to find a way to do just that flathead, to use what I know and use what I am learning about the Fire Service to reduce those preventable statistics. I will find a way.
    I just need to get in the (firehouse) door. I promise no greasy ribs. I was thinking more along the lines of "Poached Salmon", "Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Tarragon"... " Salad of Fresh Baby Spinach with Roasted Bell Peppers and Mushrooms served with a raspberry vinaigrette".

    The dinner bell is at 5.

    Stay safe everyone. I'm looking out for you.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    I think that most firefighters would stick to an exercise plan if they were properly motivated and the program was managed to limit burn-out. But it's hard to change tradition; in this case, lighting a cigarette and watching traffic on Broadway from the front of an extended bumper. Diet is very important; the only exercise some guys get is walking from the couch to the snack/soda machine. We are in the process of setting a required time to complete a job-related course (climbing stairs/ladders, hose drags/advancements/carries) and some guys aren't liking the idea too much. Too bad, I say. This is no career for a lazy couch potato.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by ThNozzleman
    I think that most firefighters would stick to an exercise plan if they were properly motivated and the program was managed to limit burn-out. But it's hard to change tradition; in this case, lighting a cigarette and watching traffic on Broadway from the front of an extended bumper. Diet is very important; the only exercise some guys get is walking from the couch to the snack/soda machine. We are in the process of setting a required time to complete a job-related course (climbing stairs/ladders, hose drags/advancements/carries) and some guys aren't liking the idea too much. Too bad, I say. This is no career for a lazy couch potato.
    Those are good points. However, the major challenge to the fire service is getting the largest segment of the fire service to buy into a physical fitness regimen...the volunteers. People regularly complain here that you can't get volunteers to follow basic rules of fire fighting or to follow training standards. How in the world are you going to get them to keep themselves in top physical condition. Remember, "they're only volunteers"!

    Also, I found this fact to be quite telling:
    In 2002, no career firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergencies.
    This, to me, is a direct reflection on attitude and training. You would think that the chances for having a serious accident are immensely higher in an urban setting where there are tons of runs. These numbers for volunteers-22 deaths-are way too high. There is a need for training (a 15 ton truck drives differently than a car) and attitude (a flashing light and siren doesn't make me a better driver). Cutting these 22 deaths would show an immediate 20% reduction in LODD.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    CFD Hazards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cranston, RI, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default

    Do you want to know why most cities don't provide time for exercise or exercise equipment? OJI(on the job injury). They think that the chances are greater that someone will drop a 10 pound plate on their foot or pull a muscle and go out injured rather than that person sitting there and having a heart attack. We are certainly our own worst enemies. I keep myself in decent shape because as others have said, this is no couch potatoes job. I am completely beat after pulling a line to the third floor, putting the fire out, overhauling and then repacking the engine. I don't know how someone out of shape must feel. I will admit though that some things are heriditary. I have dieted and exercised and I still have HTN and high Cholesterol. I have to take medication for those.

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile I Respectfully Disagree.....

    I have read, and agreed with, George for quite some time, so this comes as a bit difficult for me to say, but I find myself questioning the comment,"Why is a 75 year old fighting fire?" (or something, I haven't figured out how to work the Quote thing yet) At 61, I'm still getting a good workout on some kind of emergency every day. Well, almost every day. I did 1,090 of our station's 9,137 responses last year. My BP, checked weekly, is usually 140/74-76, I take a prescription drug for chloresterol,(The five main food groups are Pizza, Subs, Burgers, Fries, and Ice Cream, Right???) Thing is, I watch what I'm doing, take care of myself, and plan to stay active as long as my Doctor thinks I can do the job. In short, I plan to be around, doing something constructive, on the fireground, for many, many years yet to come. Why? Because this is what I love to do. Period. Will I be a LODD? I haven't a clue. I hope not, but as CR said, some things you see a mile off, others you never see until too late. I plan to be around long past 75, and I plan to stay active long past 75. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    Those are good points. However, the major challenge to the fire service is getting the largest segment of the fire service to buy into a physical fitness regimen...the volunteers. People regularly complain here that you can't get volunteers to follow basic rules of fire fighting or to follow training standards. How in the world are you going to get them to keep themselves in top physical condition. Remember, "they're only volunteers"!
    This is a very good point. In my state, the volunteers consistantly resist (fight tooth-and-nail) any regulations or setting of statewide standards. A recent, much talked about, bill recently passed concerning the registration of fire departments in our state and some basic regulations (a good start) on training requirements to be considered a fire department by the state. Well, it was shot down before it even took off and ended up a pathetic, watered down fee-grab that doesn't even make enough money to pay for the bureaucracy it created. With leaders like this, is it any wonder important issues like physical fitness of firefighters are not addressed? Why set higher/professional standards? You might have to live up to them.
    As for vehicle training, again, I agree. It seems that the majority of apparatus deaths and injuries happen because someone got careless driving a tanker truck. A neighboring department just recently destroyed a new tanker/pumper when the 18 year old and his 15 year old passenger rolled the truck after over-correcting the steering while responding to a minor accident on a narrow road. You'd think that incidents like this would wake the politicians in Nashville from their intellectual slumber and make them realize that real changes are needed in our state concerning who and who not should be a firefighter or allowed to operate emergency vehicles. But, I'm not holding my breath.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Post

    Was it the Pareto distibution thingie which holds that 80% of a problem is caused by 20% of the constituents? If you want to make a big impact fast, then you must change those 20% and not worry so much about the 1% factors.

    I do think that we will need to have a better understanding of WHY so many firefighters die of heart attacks before we can make any real progress towards eliminating them as a cause of LODD's, though.

    I agree that a healthy lifestyle including good cardiovascular fitness is important (to everyone, not just firefighters), but that it may not be the whole picture. For example, if it's simply a conditioned stress response to the station/pager tones that's killing us, there may not be a lot we can do. Then there's the dehydration/blood volume level relationship to consider as a factor - it might be that one cup of coffee (read diuretic) in the morning that contributes to an untimely demise.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  13. #13
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Lightbulb The Lightbulb Just Went On........

    Bob just hit on something. Has anyone heard of any study of LODD Traffic incidents, in particular, the involvement of Tankers (Tenders)?? It may be my mind is off track a bit, but it seems that a disproportionate share of LODDs from apparatus accidents are tanker related. Anyone finds anything on this, please post it. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    This document wasn't produced because the people at USFA had nothing else to do. I suspect that there must have been a study somewhere.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    New Manual on Safe Operations of Fire Tankers Now Available from USFA
    EMMITSBURG, MD. - The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced today the availability of a new document, Safe Operation of Fire Tankers. This new manual provides comprehensive information regarding the safety practices and principles of fire tanker vehicles for local-level fire departments. Safe Operation of Fire Tankers provides information related to human performance (driver training, operations, etc), technology (vehicle design), to enhance the safety of fire tanker operations. The manual also examines past incidents of crashes involving fire tankers that have killed firefighters with a focus on how these fatalities could have been prevented. Fire departments will find Safe Operation of Fire Tankers a valuable resource providing information related to the current and applicable Federal standards and regulations as well as national-level consensus standards and guidelines.

    "Vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of all firefighter on duty fatalities," according to U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison. "The USFA is dedicated to providing this information to the fire service in support of our desired goal to eliminate firefighter deaths and injuries from fire tanker vehicle crashes."

    As part of this project effort, a panel of technical experts in the area of fire service emergency vehicle operations, emergency vehicle maintenance, fire tanker design, and tanker water shuttle operations provided detailed recommendations on how to enhance the safety of fire tanker operations that were incorporated into the manual.

    Download Safe Operations of Fire Tankers or limited quantities of this publication may be ordered from the USFA Publications Office free of charge. Visit the USFA on the World Wide Web at http://www.usfa.fema.gov. Another option is to contact USFA's Publications Office at (800) 561-3356 or (301) 447-1189. You may also FAX your request to (301) 447-1213. Mail orders will also be accepted at the following address:

    United States Fire Administration Publications
    16825 South Seton Avenue
    Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727

    USFA is a part of FEMA. Both USFA and FEMA are a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
    ------------------------------------

    It may be my mind is off track a bit,
    That's why old guys shouldn't fight fire!

    I'M KIDDING!

  15. #15
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Mason,TN
    Posts
    4

    Default What does 1582 say about B/P ?

    What does 1582 say about B/P? Can someone with "High B/P" be hired as a carrer firefighter? If the B/P is controlled with medication does that effect the hire ability of a candidate or does this policy vary from department to department?

    After initial hire what is the policy for most large departments do about periodic exams to screen for medical problems or is it on the "honor system" ?

  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile To Answer Your Question.........

    I have yet to see two large Depts with the same rules on hiring, fitness, medical screenings, etc. Diversity. It's what makes America great. And Complex. And Dumb at times. Oh, by the way, where is Mason?? Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  17. #17
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Mason,TN
    Posts
    4

    Default Mason is....

    Mason is about 35 miles Northeast of Memphis. It's a really large Town of about 1300 with about 500 of them being in a private prison,lol.

    The reason for the question is that I have a "freind" that is on the short list of a Large department that was just put on B/P medication. "He" was wondering how to handle this situation?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register