Firefighters commit themselves to protect people’s lives and safety. They put their own safety in jeopardy to help others in numerous ways.
The physical dangers of the job and the ordeal of what responders go through can result in serious medical problems that often do not receive adequate attention. There are several ways that working as a firefighter could put individuals’ long-term health in jeopardy.
The psychological impact of what firefighters experience in their work can be very tolling. Witnessing injury and death may cause responders to sustain severe emotional trauma. Acknowledging mental health conditions and addressing the need for counseling and other treatment are vital ways to support Minnesota’s firefighters.
Working in high-stress situations as well as frequent exposure to smoke and various harmful substances can put firefighters at high risk for cardiovascular problems. Preventative management in day-to-day activities may help decrease the risk of heart problems.
The leading cause of death among firefighters is cancer. There is high susceptibility to cancer affecting the respiratory system due to continual contact with smoke and other carcinogens.
Historically, firefighters have encountered challenges in getting benefits and compensation for occupational illnesses such as cancer. There is still a need for greater awareness about the correlation between cancer and firefighting.
Ultimately, the high incidence of injuries in the field of firefighting extends far beyond simple burns or acute injuries from smoke inhalation. Firefighters commonly contend with hazards that could significantly affect their long-term health and quality of life.