Incident Name: training
Personnel: Robert Broussard
Agency/Organization: Sycuan Fire Department, El Cajon, CA
Summary: Firefighter Broussard was participating in an annual recertification process to be re-certified to fight wildland fires. He was part way through the pack test when he collapsed. A medic unit on standby at the certification course was at his side within a minute and began treatment. Firefighter Broussard was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack. Robert was a member of the Sycuan Tribe, El Cajon CA. sycuantribe.com
Sycuan Fire Department, El Cajon, CA
- NIOSH Report: Fire Fighter Suffers Sudden Cardiac Death While Performing Work Capacity Test - California
Recommendations 1–2 below address safety issues unique to this event. Recommendations 3–5 are preventive measures often recommended by fire servicegroups to reduce the risk of on-the-job heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters. These recommendations should be implemented by the Southern California Agency (SCA).
- Check WCT participants’ vital signs before testing.
- Modify the Health Screening Questionnaire (HSQ) in the Pacific Regional Handbook to include all cardiovascular risk factors identified by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC).
- Consider providing preplacement and periodic medical evaluations to ALL fire fighters consistent with NFPA 1582 or equivalent to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others.
- Ensure that fire fighters are cleared for duty by a physician knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting.
- Ensure that fire fighters participate in a mandatory wellness/fitness program designed for wildland fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity.
- USFA Memorial Database: Robert Broussard
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