Health & Safety

Mayday Monday: Lucky to Have a Plan?

Mayday Monday on firefighters and luck

Are you lucky to have a plan or is your plan to be lucky? It is March. In the month of March, we celebrate our Irish heritage. The Irish are known for their luck, and the ‘Luck of the Irish’ is an old adage that some live by. Do you? Are you hoping that your luck will help you survive the fire service? Firefighters have plans for everything. We have:

  • Procedures for fire response
  • Protocols for EMS incidents
  • Specs for our apparatus
  • Training plans for recruits and incumbents
  • Guidelines for calling a Mayday

But so many of us rely on luck to carry us through our health and wellness. It’s time to stop and make a plan to get through our careers and reach retirement. To help you with making your plan, we have included the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 again. Start with these 7 items to get your health on track and tackle one of the big firefighter killers: cardiac issues.

Surviving the Fire Service Cardiac Epidemic

FLAME Out: Cardiovascular Risk on the Fireground

This month’s Mayday Monday is dedicated to Detroit Fire Sergeant Vinny Smith. Sergeant Smith was killed in the line of duty by a sudden cardiac event.  Like so many who die due to cardiac issues, the sergeant was found to have several modifiable risk factors (high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and physical inactivity). Here is a link to the NIOSH report (PDF). During this March, get checked and see if you have some modifiable risk factors. Make a plan to address these issues and increase your chances of surviving the fire service. Don’t leave it up to luck!

Thanks for checking out this Mayday Monday! Hopefully, you see a theme moving along in 2020. We must address this firefighter killer!

Tony Carroll is a battalion chief with the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

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