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.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • 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.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus