Fire/emergency medical services Worker health and wellness

IAFC releases guide on firefighter physicals

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Fairfax, VA – The International Association of Fire Chiefs has released a guide intended to help health care providers evaluate and treat firefighters, as well as to aid firefighters in managing their own health care.

A Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Physicals, overseen by IAFC’s Safety Health and Survival Section, addresses cardiovascular health and fitness, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries, behavioral health, lung disease, sleep disorders, and infectious diseases.

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

A June 2016 report from the National Fire Protection Association showed that sudden cardiac deaths accounted for 51 percent of the 68 on-duty firefighter fatalities recorded in 2015. And according to the results of a survey conducted by IAFC, up to 80 percent of career firefighters receive annual NFPA 1582 physicals, but that figure is just 45 percent for volunteer firefighters.

“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,” Sinclair said in the release.

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