It is with some trepidation that this post is composed. First and foremost each of us knows (or should know) that firefighters suffer from cardiac problems at an extraordinary rate. While some of this is tied to diet and lack of excercise it is certainly a large problem in the fire service. Going out on a statistical limb I would bet that 50% of the bravest who read these forums knows of someone, meaning a firefighter, who has suffered from a cardiac ailment.

It is an issue that should be at or near the top of every firefighters long range thoughts. For some genetics plays a part but make no mistake the risk factors can be controlled in many other areas. As it is I speak from experience having lost my father when he was but 51 and several other family members via the same route.

Now I suppose it is my turn to face down cardiac problems. It was my great fortune to be offered another fire department position as the Fire Marshal - a position I have held before. During the requisite visit to the physician, and subsequent checks, it is now noted that there are some cardiac issues.

I am not moaning or complaining nor seeking any sympathy. Instead let this further serve to warn each and every person that steps upon a piece of apparatus - never take the job for granted and always keep your health at the forefront.