48-years-old, living a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly. This doesn’t sound like a heart attack victim. But unfortunately in the fire service it often is, as OFPD Captain Gary McCutchen learned firsthand.
Ongoing shift work, disrupted sleep, heat stress, and fluid loss can all lead to ongoing cardiovascular problems for firefighters. These preexisting heart issues combined with the stress during, or after, an emergency call can result in sudden cardiac death, which consistently accounts for approximately half of on-duty firefighting fatalities.
As a profession, firefighting is hard on the body, as many have learned by suffering a debilitating injury or a life-threatening medical diagnosis before they reach retirement age. Prop. F, on the Nov. 3 ballot, would provide additional funding for the District’s pension fund, which provides for the retirement of our firefighters. If approved by the community, it would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $3.17 a month, around the cost of McDonald’s Happy Meal.
You can learn more about this proposal here or by calling 636.272.3493.