NFFF releases paper on cardiac enlargement in firefighters

A new white paper released by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, “Cardiac Enlargement in U.S. Firefighters,” discusses research that shows a direct relationship between an enlarged heart and an increased risk for cardiovascular events, including sudden death, among firefighters. The paper is at http://bit.ly/2wma22T

EMS Agenda 2050 issues meeting schedule

Members of the emergency medical services and health care communities are invited to attend one of four regional EMS Agenda 2050 meetings. Attendees will discuss the future of EMS with the project’s Technical Expert Panel, whose members have wide-ranging and diverse experiences within EMS systems and health care organizations.

The meetings are scheduled as follows: September 25, 2017, Silver Spring, MD; November 7, 2017, Minneapolis, MN; January 17, 2018, Los Angeles, CA; and March 1, 2018, Dallas, TX. Preregistration is required. Visit the Web site (http://emsagenda2050.org/) to register and for more detailed information, including meeting locations, times, and hotel options. Prior to the first meeting, EMS Agenda 2050 will release a strawman document as a conversation starter to spark thinking and dialogue about the future of EMS. “If you’ve wanted to have a voice in shaping the future of EMS systems, EMS providers’ role in the health and safety of patients, and more, this is your chance,” says Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the Office of EMS at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Other opportunities to participate include offering suggestions and comments through the project Web site, webinars and conference listening sessions, and reaching out to the panel members (http://emsagenda2050.org/whosinvolved/).

ASTM Intl. Upgrades Online LMS

ASTM International’s new learning management system (LMS) was designed to accommodate the increase in the number of visitors to the site. It offers the following features: an expanded search tool, 24/7 access to ASTM International training content, accessibility to training modules from any device, enhanced reporting capabilities, and customized curriculums. In addition, learners will be able to accomplish the following tasks from the new homepage: find new training modules, access completed training, browse catalogues, print certificates, and download courses to be completed offline.

ASTM notes that continued updates to the LMS will include the addition of a “video wall” that will provide easy access to training videos. Additional information is at www.astm.org/TRAIN.

App would summon aid for cardiac arrest patients

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the PulsePoint Foundation (PulsePoint) are collaborating on an initiative in which mobile phones and apps will be used to connect nearby cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)-trained citizens and off-duty professional rescuers with individuals who are in cardiac arrest.

The PulsePoint app connects directly to local emergency communication centers. When an incident requiring CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) is reported, nearby citizens and off-duty responders who carry the app and traditional first responders will be notified simultaneously.

Tualatin Valley (OR) Fire & Rescue (TVFR) was the first fire department in Oregon to use the PulsePoint app for citizen responders. “Over the past four years, we have witnessed firsthand its ability to save lives,” reports Mike Duyck, director of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and TVFR chief. “We are now the first agency to pilot the professional version of the app, Verified Responder.”

ICMA-RC awards scholarships to survivors of firefighters

The ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in 2001, has awarded memorial scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to spouses and children of firefighters lost in the line of duty. The scholarships are presented annually to surviving children and spouses of firefighters, police officers, and other public employees who have died in the line of duty. Applicants are selected based on financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership in school and community activities, honors, and work experience.

Firefighter survivors granted scholarships include the following: Margaret G. Baik, Bridgeport (CT) Fire Department; Devin D. Bryant, Layton City (UT) Fire Department; Jonathan M. DeWolf, Newington (NH) Fire Department; Kelly A. DeWolf, Newington (NH) Fire Department; Lindsay R. DeWolf, Newington (NH) Fire Department; Kayla J. Ford, Fire Department of New York; Dillon C. Mickel, Osceola (FL) Fire Rescue; Danielle Nichols, Jennifer Nichols, Katherine Nichols, Des Moines (IA) Fire Department; Jennifer R. Pepple, Natrona County (WY) Fire District, Kristen E. Pontius, Freeport (IL) Fire Department; Matthew M.B. Proost, Los Angeles City (CA) Fire Department; Donna J. Reed, West Manatee (FL) Fire Rescue; Michael H. Reisman, Fire Department of New York; Kayla A. Ryan, Fire Department of New York; Janet B. Santner, Tessa L. Santner, North Bay (FL) Fire Department; Kateland Simmons, Karley Simmons, Eastland (TX) Volunteer Fire Department; and Katie R. Wiebicke, Fire Department of New York.

The Fund has raised more than $1 million and awarded scholarships to more than 300 students across the nation. Scholarships are managed and administered through Scholarship America, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the Concerns of Police Survivors. Additional information is at www.icmarc.org/scholarship.

FDA approves qualified health claim for macadamia nuts

After conducting a systematic review of the available scientific data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the following health claim “characterizing the relationship between consumption of macadamia nuts and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.” Manufacturers may use this claim immediately; it reads: “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of macadamia nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased intake of saturated fat or calories, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. See nutrition information for fat [and calorie] content.”

Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Inc. had petitioned the FDA for claim approval.

EMS responders: Beware of potent opioid danger

The opioid pandemic that has seized the nation harbors potential hazards for first responders. An alert from Chief Billy Goldfeder of www.FireFighterCloseCalls.Com advises of an incident involving responders and the opioid carfentanil. Three members of the Newtown Ambulance Squad (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) and a Newtown firefighter responded to a call for cardiac arrest in a motor vehicle in July. All four were hospitalized as the result of being exposed to an extremely potent variety of heroin, which was on the victim’s arm and in the interior of the vehicle. The substance is believed to be a “Gray Death” variety of heroin, carfentanil. Luckily, all responders were discharged from the hospital after treatment for narcotic exposure. The outcome could have been much more serious: According to an article in the Washington Post, a 10-milligram dose of carfetanil, an animal tranquilizer, is powerful enough to sedate, or even kill, a 15,000-pound African elephant (http://wapo.st/2uW3DxA). It is said to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times deadlier than fentanyl. See “The Fentanyl Epidemic” (fireEMS) on page 26 of this issue for additional information on the extreme hazards of drugs you are likely to encounter when responding to calls in your response area.

LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS

July 12. Captain John Kemper, 59, St. Louis (MO) Fire Department: injuries suffered while fighting a structure fire on July 5.

July 14. Interim Chief Robert Spinner, 50, Lynden (WA) Fire Department: apparent heart attack while participating in department physical fitness activity.

July 19. Firefighter Trenton Martin Johnson, 19, Grayback Forestry, Inc., Merlin, OR: struck by a falling tree while fighting a forest fire.

July 29. Firefighter Kevin Ramsey, 50, Detroit (MI) Fire Department: apparent heart attack.

July 30. Firefighter Richard W. Leonard, 70, Perth Amboy (NJ) Fire Department: smoke inhalation suffered at a fire in April 1993.

Source: USFA Firefighters Memorial Database

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