According to a report, nearly half of all firefighter duty-related deaths across the country are caused by sudden cardiac deaths.
The Springfield Fire Department says education is crucial in prevention.
Springfield Fire Department’s Division Chief Kelly Ash says physical fitness is also crucial, with the department dedicating an hour a day to keeping firefighters in shape.
”Firefighting often is not a marathon. It’s a sprint,” Division Chief Ash says. “Our heart rate is at max. All of our physical efforts to get the fire out or to rescue a victim.” Division Chief Ash says firefighters have 40 to 50 pounds of gear, which causes their body core temperature to rise quickly.
“For a hot day like this, our bodies can’t breathe,” Division Chief Ash says. “We can’t perspire. All that evaporation, which is the part that cools our body that doesn’t happen with all the fire gear.”
Ozark Fire Chief Jarett Metheny says sleep schedules also play a role in this.