IAFC Releases Guide to Address Gap in Firefighters' Physicals

"Firefighters need health care that is tailored to the inherent risks of their dangerous jobs," said Chief John Sinclair, IAFC's president and chairman of the board. "The guide provides doctors and firefighters clear information about the clinical care needed to address these risks."

The International Association of Fire Chiefs released "A Healthcare Provider's Guide to Firefighter Physicals" this week in a bid to assist health agencies and boost the health and wellness of firefighters. The guide serves as an important new tool for firefighters to manage their own health, according to IAFC.

The research-supported, experience-driven guide was spearheaded by IAFC's Safety Heath and Survival Section and features a systems approach to the physical examination of firefighters, addressing cardiovascular health and fitness, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries, behavioral health, lung disease, sleep disorders, and infectious diseases.

IAFC reports recent studies and surveys indicate there's a gap in firefighters' health care:

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, sudden cardiac deaths account for 51 percent of on-duty firefighter deaths.
  • Research by Denise Smith, Ph.D., of Skidmore College found that for every line-of-duty death, there are an estimated 17 non-fatal cardiac events on duty among firefighters.
  • An IAFC survey found that only 45 percent of volunteer firefighter respondents and up to 80 percent of career firefighter respondents receive annual firefighter physicals.

"Firefighters need health care that is tailored to the inherent risks of their dangerous jobs," said Chief John Sinclair, IAFC's president and chairman of the board. "The guide provides doctors and firefighters clear information about the clinical care needed to address these risks. The IAFC encourages all firefighters to be strong advocates for their own health and wellness by making sure their doctor examines them for the many health risks they face."

"As a former firefighter and department physician with the Boston Fire Department and now as the primary care provider for many Boston-area firefighters, I have developed a unique perspective and understanding of the many immediate and long-term serious health risks associated with firefighting," said Dr. Michael Hamrock of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, who was a primary contributor in the development of the guide. "These guidelines will be extremely beneficial to primary-care clinicians and have a profound impact on improving the health and saving the lives of many firefighters. Primary-care providers will now be better equipped to more effectively screen and intervene early on the specific occupationally related illnesses that are disabling and killing too many of our firefighters."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue