An article from the July 2005 issue of Fire Engineer Journal from the UK. This gives a little "food for thought" regarding your/our general health and wellbeing, I think.
Most American fire fighters who died of heart attacks in the last ten years went to work with known or detectable heart conditions, says a new study by the National Fire Protection Association.
The study examined fire fighter deaths from 1994 to 2004. It found that 440 personnel, 44% of those who died on duty, experienced cardiac arrests, typically triggered by stress or exertion.
Information for 308 of those 440 personel found that 134 had previously suffered a heart attack or undergone surgery for their condition. The majority had known heart diseases but were not on restricted duty.
(The analysis of fire fighter deaths can be found on the NFPA website www.nfpa.org)
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07-09-2005, 06:30 PM #1
Fire Fighters go to work with heart problemsUnited Kingdom branch, IACOJ.
07-09-2005, 08:04 PM #2
- Join Date
- May 2000
- Wheaton IL
Currently I don't have heart disease, I guess I would feel different if I did, but that being said you should go on a disability pension if you have significant disease.
Now this wouldn't be in every case. Some people have minor problems that are corrected without any damage to the heart. Is that person at greater risk for sudden death, probably.
I've known guys with Cardiomyopathy, CVA's, bypass surgery who all have been released by the department doctor to return to firefighting.
I don't know how I would feel but I hope I throw in the towel, for my family and my sake.
07-10-2005, 12:18 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Syracuse, NY, USA
I have a heart problem and I am a vollie. I have a leaky heart valve. I have been cleared by my family doctor and a cardiologist to do anything I chose.
On a side note when I was getting a sonogram of my heart the tech told me not to move at all. I didn't until I couldn't hold the sneeze anymore. I sneezed all over this very nice looking tech. Needless to say I was red with embarrassment.
07-10-2005, 11:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
This is Difficult..................
I'm taking a serious risk at losing some friends, and damage to what little credibility that I have here, but I can't hold my tounge on this any longer, I have to speak out. What difference does it make?? If you are going to collapse from a heart attack, then that is what will happen. Standing at a pump panel, or sitting in your recliner, when you go, you go. Yes, there are needless, preventable deaths in the line of duty, but I maintain there are others that we worry too much about. People who die because they did not use a seatbelt are preventable deaths. We should be worried about that. I respectfully submit that those who die from unseen medical problems are not preventable. We need to calm down about those. In the middle are those who have a known medical condition. Here's my point. If a Doctor, as in M.D. after his/her name, who practices medicine on a regular basis, says that I, or anyone else, is fit for duty, then we need to stop second guessing the Doctors. For the record, I do not have a medical problem that I, or my doctor, am aware of. I get a regular checkup annually, and a cardiac workup every other year. I will say that I have no plans for dying in a recliner though. I fully intend to keep on doing what I want as long as I can, without endangering anyone else. I have had an opinion, for a long time, that the LODD situation is not as serious as it sounds, WHEN HISTORIC FACTS ARE ADDED INTO THE EQUATION. I think that LODD Numbers are well below a hundred years ago, when using today's criteria to count up those lost back then. A hundred years ago, you had to be a Municipal Fireman who died in a Fire, to be counted. Additionally, no National Organization tallied the numbers. People who died of a heart attack at the station, or on the way home, were not considered LODDs, A whole class of Firefighters, The Forestry Folks, weren't counted. And with poor or nonexistent communications, some LODDs were never reported to anyone beyond a local area. That's my rant for today.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
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I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
07-10-2005, 11:50 AM #5
Harve, I think I see where you are coming from with your argument regarding this subject. As you have pointed out, when your numbers up, its up. I think what the basis of the report, although I have'nt read it all, "may" be getting at, is the fact that a lot of these fire fighters, with known heart problems, were at greater risk of suffering a cardiac incident, whilst at work. Although it does'nt state it, I feel many of those in the study may not have informed their employers that they had a condition liable to lead them to the risk of heart attack at work, given the physical demands placed on the body. As the report points out, none of the fire fighters in the study had been removed from active duty, leading me to think that they did'nt tell, did'nt have to tell, or it did'nt matter if they did, inform the Chief they had a diagnosed ailment.United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.
07-11-2005, 03:14 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
I don't have a problem with someone staying in front line duty with heart problems as long as their situation isn't overly fragile.
For myself, Having the big one at a fire doesn't sound all that bad to me.
I've got no problem signing an opt out of presumptive health issues.
I love my job. I know and accept the hazards. I don't want to be sidelined early because of the "possibility" of a heart attack.
07-11-2005, 11:09 AM #7
I have had hypertension problems and am just now getting them cleared up (diet, weight) and I know what it is like to be out of the fire service for a while. It is terrible.Jacktee
"Insert quotation here."
07-12-2005, 03:30 AM #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
I love this business and always have. The thought of hearing my dept roll while I sit home is a fate worse than death. BUT...It is a little frightening to be going into harms way with a pump operator with a bad ticker, an 80 year old interior officer and a nozzleman with one leg. They dont call us the BRAVEST for nothin ya know.
God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.
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