Heart attacks leading cause of death for firefighters

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Heartattacks are the leading cause of death among firefighters because of the highlevel of stress from their job.

"There is ahigh level of stress when you respond to certain types of incidents, even justbeing paged out for the initial call you're going from 0 to 60 in a matter of afew seconds," said Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, firefightersare more likely to suffer a heart attack at work than any other profession. Miller said this could be attributed to a number of stressorsthat come with the job.

"Depending onthe type of call you show up and see whether it's a extrication, structure fire, certain time of medical issues adds even more stress when you have to takecare of the particular call you're responding to," he said.

Miller said it'simportant for a fireman to incorporate fitness into their schedule.

"This is aphysically demanding job and we want to make sure our firefighters are able tomeet the minimum physical requirement," he said. "We've beentrying to figure out ways for years that we can curtail that and to be able tomake the firefighters better, healthy, healthier overall."

Miller said they provide their firemen with ayearly physical and a fitness evaluation.

"Better eatinghabits, healthier living, quitting smoking," he said. "These are all things thatpotentially improve your overall health and lifestyle which can make you abetter person and a better firefighter."

Miller said leading a healthy lifestyle will pay off down theroad.

"We want youto be able to have a long, productive career and an even longer and productiveretirement after you leave the department," he said.

In 2014, there have been 7 firefighter deaths in the U.S., and five were caused by a heartattack.

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