VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Working in these extremely high temperatures brings concerns for our local firefighters' health. A program known as Firefighter Rehabilitation helps to reduce the number of line of duty deaths.
“Over the last 25 years is that we were attending fewer structure fires, but we were losing about 100 firefighters a year," said Shannon Black, Firefighter with Ventura County Fire.
Ventura County Fire along with several different agencies realized that nearly 60 percent of firefighter fatalities are due to cardiac and cardiovascular advances. To help reduce that number of line of duty deaths the program known as Firefighter Rehabilitation was enforced.
“It’s something that we put together for all structure fires, brush fires, and extended rescues," said Black. "Particularly on a day like today when it’s like 105-degrees with humidity down to the single digits the combination with the physical labor has been identified as one of the leading causes of those line of duty deaths.”
The rehabilitation crew will set up chairs and will place cold towels on firefighters neck and provide water which will reduce temperatures immediately.
“The main thing we want to do is get vital signs on him," said Black. "We document everyone's vital signs when they come in and going out. We check his pulse rate, temperature, and the other vital sign is the carbon monoxide.”
Fire protection agency and the International Association of Fire Fighters worked together on these standards in protecting the ones that work so hard in protecting us.
“It really makes them a lot more capable of getting back to work and a lot more effective once they do go back to work,” said Black.
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