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FRI Wellness Zone: Finding Attendees` Health Issues While in Dallas

In an effort to raise awareness for firefighter physicals the IAFC, Life Scan Wellness Centers and the Safety, Health and Survival (SHS) Section partnered to create the FRI Wellness Zone.

In the Wellness Zone, some attendees received several components of an NFPA 1582 compliant physical. Attendees were put to the test doing push-ups, planks, grip tests and flexibility. The ultrasounds of the heart and other major organs were the highlight of the work performed by Life Scan.

In addition to working with Life Scan, visitors to the Wellness Zone were able to talk with members of the SHS Section about the importance of getting an annual NFPA compliant physical.

During their two days at FRI, the staff of Life Scan examined 185 attendees and discovered 142 findings. Some attendees had multiple findings, which are included in the 142.

The findings ranged from nonsignificant amounts of plaque in arteries, which need to be monitored or repaired with lifestyle changes, to possible cancerous tumors and aneurysms.

Some of the more significant discoveries include:

  • 5 aneurysms: one at a surgical state and two requiring additional monitoring
  • 5 solid tumors on organs; it's likely they'll confirm as early-stage malignant tumors
  • 12 significant aortic valve leaks, moderate to severe
  • 2 left ventricle strains with low ejection fractions, suggestive of coronary blockages that will need immediate follow up for a catheter to further evaluate

The work done by the IAFC, Life Scan Wellness Centers and the SHS Section at FRI clearly demonstrates our commitment to firefighter wellness and safety. Hopefully the issues identified at the FRI Wellness Zone were discovered early enough that they can be addressed and the personnel affected will have a long, healthy fire service career.

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