Firefighters are tough, but so are the challenges we face day after day in modern firefighting. It is crucial every firefighter understands the risks of the job so we can maintain optimal health to provide the best care for our communities. The reality is, cardiovascular events cause almost half of all on-duty firefighter deaths each year. The leading causes of firefighter injuries are overexertion, stress and medical issues.
The personal health and safety choices we make impact our entire department, our families, and our communities. It’s up to you, as the firefighter, to stay on top of your health by attending annual health screenings including cardiac heart scans, bloodwork tests, stress tests, prostate screenings, skin cancer screenings, and so on. Some departments have made it a priority to offer yearly firefighter physicals through the NFPA 1582. This measure can help detect any medical issues early, but firefighters also need to make conscious decisions to improve their health as their lives depend on it!