We Support the IAFF’s “Campaign For A Smoke Free Union”
As a combination Paid/Volunteer station we are obligated to help meet the needs of all who a part of the Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad Inc. One may find it odd to have a quote from the IAFF on our site but those who work in our station know we care about the health and well being of all our people. These dedicated professionals spend more time with us than they do with the management of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. Because we are a service organization we put kindness and concern for others over politics no matter their affiliation. We work together to put the needs of others over our own individual needs. Why, because we got it like that. This is what we do. Serve the community that lives, work and play in Silver Hill, Suitland, and surrounding jurisdictions.
What follows is excerpted from the IAFF website on smoking.
The IAFF asks, “Why Quit”?
Health Risks To Firefighters
Firefighters face serious risks on the job. They face heat, flames, physical and mental stress and high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and other toxic risks in the areas around fires. Firefighters face a high risk of many diseases. Firefighters who smoke are at greater risk. Smoking increases the risk of getting heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, stress, and poorer treatment outcomes for certain diseases, such as hepatitis.
Heart Disease. Heart attacks account for 45% of all work-related deaths among firefighters. This risk is high during fire fighting itself. It may be caused by heavy work near hot fires, exposure to carbon monoxide, and other stresses associated with the job. Lack of physical fitness, being overweight, and smoking makes these risks higher. Firefighters who also smoke have a higher risk of CO and other pulmonary risks. High levels of physical and mental stress makes the heart need more oxygen, but at the same time, breathing in more CO reduces the amount of oxygen a firefighter gets. This can cause heart attacks from both coronary artery disease and abnormal heart rhythms.
Check out the story at IAFF.org for more information.
We place no smoking signs all over the fire station supporting the State and County’s drive to have a smoke free environment. Sadly, no matter how much we talk about it, meet about it and use mitigation, preparedness and response type interventions to reduce smoking in the fire station it is a continuous process. Smoking is addictive and it leads to premature death. We will continue to help our firefighters eliminate smoking from their lives as the IAFF encourages.