To begin with i'd like to say i believe CPR should be mandatory training for firefighters. before anyone responds to this, I am trying to find out, if anything and what is being done to accomplish this or prevent it.
U.S. Fire Administration report on Firefighter Fatalities published July 2010, shows that in 2009 there were 90 Line of Duty Deaths (the lowest number since 1994). Of the LODDs of those 50 (55%) were classified as "Stress or Overexertion", of with 39 were determined to be cardiac arrest. 13 or those heart attacks were on scene fire duties, 6 on scene non-fire, 3 were in training, 3 were in route, 2 were returning, 5 were on other duty and 6 were after duty (under home town heroes act).
In contrast 7 LLODs were lost, trapped or in a collapse.
1. Why are the majority of Firefighters not trained to BCLS (Professional Rescue) level CPR & AED?
2. Why are DOH agencies not providing Firefighter Down Specific Protocols?
3. Why is there a lacking in EMT/CFR training directly for handling firefighter injuries?
In reading these questions you might think my department does this or be asking why we should.
The fact is that NY Firefighter 1 class is not teaching even basic CPR. In New York OFPC is not providing SFIs as CPR certified instructors for outreach classes, and there does not appear to be any contracted service to provide Red Cross or American Heart CPR for them. This leaves individual agencies to fend for themselves, and leaves a major gap in the safety movement.
Mayday, survival, FAST/RIT (rapid intervention teams), SCBA (mask) confidence, and even firefighter fitness and health all address the issues surrounding firefighter injury and fatalities. Yet, CPR is the first line of action in the largest area of firefighter deaths, cardiac events.
So the big question here really is shouldn't CPR be officially made part of Firefighter 1?