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2014 National EMS Week Giveaway/Contest Winner announced Friday, 5/23/14. Good Luck!
Original Source: FIRE ENGINEERING
By Robert Owens
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading killer among all men and women in the United States. Some 385,000 Americans die annually from heart disease, with another 715,000 Americans reporting at least one heart attack each year (CDC, 2013). Although these statistics are alarming, there are inherent risks with being a firefighter that increase the potential for cardiac arrest.
According to Dr. Patrick Moriarty, Director of the Atherosclerosis and LDL—Apheresis Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, a study of 77 firefighters with an average age of 39 years old revealed that most had the plaque buildup of a 52-year-old (Colwell, 2009). This was attributed to stress, sleep deprivation, and high-calorie meals.
Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of medicine and associate chief of the cardiology division at the University of California—Los Angeles led a similar study of firefighters and found that particulates in fire smoke leads to inflammation of arteries, increasing the chance for heart disease or stroke (Colwell, 2009). The study also revealed that, despite an average firefighter age that would be considered “young,” the subjects’ arteries resembled those of people some 13 years older.
Dr. Jim Brown from Indiana University—Bloomington studied Indianapolis, Indiana, firefighters for six months, monitoring their heart rates. Findings included firefighters operating at 100 percent capacity of their hearts for hours, and high heart rates even during sleep not allowing their bodies to reach rapid eye movement (REM) and recover (Brown & Stickford, 2007).
As of this writing, the United States Fire Administration has recorded 16 line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) during 2014, with all but five being heart or cerebrovascular related. What does it all mean?
Simply, firefighters have heart attacks. This concept should be nothing new. The data have been there for years. These events occur at the station, after a shift, and even on the fireground. Although programs such as “Saving Our Own” or “Firefighter Rescue” training focus on calling a Mayday or locating and removing downed firefighters, there is no mention of caring for a firefighter after rescue from the fire environment or when they collapse on scene or at the station.
Just as firefighters face extraordinary factors that influence their potential to experience a heart attack or stroke, dealing with a firefighter in cardiac arrest is not a straightforward event; it takes different skill sets, procedures, resources, and composure to result in good outcomes.
Read the Rest of the Article Here...
CREATED: MAY 1, 2014
While sending trained EMS personnel into a patient’s home to do basic preventative care may seem like a perfect fit, there are still many challenges that agencies need to overcome.
In the past few weeks, Ohio and Virginia have come out with statements about the issue, and other organizations are weighing in as well, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell told a group attending a session during the Congressional Fire Service Institute's meetings . “Ohio law allows EMS providers to perform only emergency medical services. EMS providers should be aware that immunity from civil liability applies only if they are administering ‘emergency’ medical services,” she said. And in Virginia, EMS agencies interested in providing community paramedicine may be required to obtained licenses by the state’s health office.
Meanwhile, a nurses’ association said it feels they may need to supervise the medics, questioning their abilities, she said, adding that some agencies are getting very territorial. While the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mention EMS, Moore-Merrell added: “It sets up opportunities for EMS though.” The IAFF will vote on a resolution at its annual convention in July whether or not it’s something they want to do, she added. But, fire departments and EMS folks aren’t the only ones jumping to get in on the action, she said.
Some private EMS companies are dropping emergency responses so they can concentrate on community medicine. Also, at least two major drug stores have started to promote full healthcare. Under the ACA provision, hospitals and medical facilities understand they will face penalties if a patient is re-admitted to their facility for the same condition within 30 days of discharge. Also, there is still a question on whether the company that transported the patient will get reimbursed if they are seen again within the month.
And, the NFPA hasn’t been sitting idly by. Members have been busy studying the issue and hearing from stakeholders. The proposed community medicine standards document currently rests with a technical committee, according to NFPA Public Fire Protection Division Manager Ken Willette. Ken Knipper, who chairs the NFPA committee, said the issue impacts all providers – volunteers and career personnel. He said the group understands that not all communities have paramedics, and the document will address that. Knipper added that building and cultivating relationships more important now than ever before.
What about your department? What are your future plans in regards to this issue? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
“There’s a lot of attention for line of duty deaths. Firefighters who die in a burning building, in a collapse—the funerals are on television. The truth is the number of us dying with our boots off is far greater."
CBS4 in Miami recently published an article highlighting the silent killer known as cancer and how strong of an effect it has on putting firefighters' lives in danger. The article, which we highly recommend reading, can be read here: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/04/29/cbs4-investigates-silent-killer-claiming-lives-of-firefighters while the video report is embedded above.
Cancer is unfortunately a disease that should be on the minds of all individuals involved in emergency services. And unfortunately, many have no coverage under an Accident and Sickness program and limited, if any coverage, available through Workers’ Compensation.
However, with the VFIS Critical Illness Insurance Program, your emergency service personnel can receive a lump sum cash benefit when diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke or life threatening cancer. Coverage is provided on a 24 hour on and off duty basis. Of course like all insurance policies, there are certain conditions of coverage among them:
Conditions of Coverage:
Who is eligible?
Learn More: CRITICAL ILLNESS FLYER
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