Every year, more firefighters die in the line of duty because of heart attacks than any other cause. They must be ready at a moment’s notice to battle very demanding emergencies, and it is critical that they be physically prepared for the job at hand.
A database of autopsies performed on every Line of Duty Death in America showed 70 percent were influenced by cardiovascular disease caused by everything from bad habits to exposure to toxic smoke. Risk factors like being over age 45, smoking, hypertension, obesity, cholesterol, diabetes or known heart conditions should all be addressed with regular medical evaluations, department fitness programs, incident rehab protocols and a simple “see something, say something” approach to warning signs.
The first step in preventing or overcoming heart-related medical conditions is to know your health. Follow your physician’s recommendations for physicals and health screenings, and make sure to tell your physician you are a first responder.