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Cardiac screening needs for firefighters

Eating right and working out are key, but not always enough

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Captain Niles and the members of the Downs Fire Department.

Cardiac-related injuries and fatalities continue to plague the American fire service. According to the United States Fire Administration's latest report on firefighter fatalities in the United States, we lost 39 firefighters to heart attacks in 2009.

That was 43 percent of the 90 line-of-duty deaths that year!

Despite spending several years as an advanced life support provider, the recent loss of my step-father to cardiac-related illness gave me a better understanding about how the choices we make affect the overall health of our cardiovascular system.

Eating right and working out are key, but not always enough.

Especially for firefighters (career and volunteer), it's critically important to receive regular cardiac screening provided by a physician who recognizes the demands of our work environment.

Stay safe!

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