A new firefighter survival campaign from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) — “If You Don't Feel Well...Don't Make It Your Farewell” — focuses on recognizing the potential warning signs of firefighter cardiac problems. The initiative aims to reduce the number of life-ending cardiac events through awareness, tools and other resources.
of firefighter fatalities in 2018
were caused by heart attack
.Source: U.S. Fire Administration
Most cardiac events have early warning signs, sometimes weeks or months ahead of time. The problem is many of these signs can be easily explained away. Too many firefighters ignore chest pain and other symptoms. In some cases, it winds up being their last call.
It's just heartburn ... I must have picked up a bug somewhere ... I just don't feel well, but it'll pass.
Ignoring these signs is dangerous! Firefighters must be aware of the signs and symptoms of cardiac problems and look for them not only in themselves but also in a colleague who “just doesn’t feel well.” Seek medical attention early and quickly. If it turns out to be nothing, great; better to “waste time” than to have a bad outcome.
The IAFC will roll out the full program in early 2020. For now, firefighters who have experienced a cardiac incident should fill out the IAFC's two-minute online survey. The survey asks about the incident, where you were, what symptoms you experienced, how long before someone acted, and other details. Please share the link with current and former fire service personnel who may be eligible to complete the survey.
Take the survey
For firefighters who have experienced a cardiac incident
This article appears in the Dec. 19, 2019 InfoGram PDF ~200 KB. | Subscribe to the InfoGram
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