Cardiac Awareness Toolkit

If You Don't Feel Well, Don't Make It Your Farewell

In February 2020, IAFC President Gary Ludwig launches his initiative, If You Don't Feel Well, Don't Make it Your Farewell, with the goal of eliminating life-ending cardiac events.

The toolkit below is aimed at helping this mission by providing information and resources to assist members and fire departments.

Sample Policies & Strategy Development Tools

  • SOP: Administrative Response to On-duty Medical Event(s) template (pdf)
    Example policy departments can use to outline their actions and processes when responding to acute on-duty medical events. This example also outlines the department's response to on-duty injuries and illness.
  • Cardiac Events Administrative Checklist
    Outlines areas of concern for fire chiefs and their departments pertaining to the handling of on-duty or duty-related cardiac events. Each of the listed items should be considered, researched, answered, and memorialized in formal documentation (e.g. policy, procedure, guideline, bulletin, etc.) prior to encountering an issue.


  • Presumptive Health Initiative
    A comprehensive presumptive health initiative database, which enables one to search their state of origin for related presumptive healthcare laws and their associated legislation.

Training Tools

  • Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs
    Informational PDF that could be posted around the firehouse to inform members of the common warning signs and symptoms as well as the appropriate reaction. Made for the layperson; however, the same information applies to firefighters.
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome Overview
    General signs and symptoms to ensure department members know what to look for in the event of an acute cardiovascular event.
  • Treatment of a Heart Attack
    Overview of common heart attack types, treatments and medications.
  • Assessing Cardiovascular Risk
    Downloadable resource (pdf) available to fire chiefs and their department members for assessing cardiovascular risk.
  • Heart-Health Screenings
    To help minimize or prevent the potential for cardiovascular disease and the associated risks, certain risk factors and lifestyle habits should be screened by your primary care provider. These factors include diet quality, physical activity, smoking, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, total cholesterol or blood glucose.

Media Tools

Research Papers, Articles & Blogs

NIOSH firefighter fatality investigation summaries

American Heart Association

Healthy Heart Organizations


Thanks to the following organizations who have expressed their support of the campaign:

Special thanks to our founding partner:

Hearing directly from those who've experienced cardiac incidents is a significant component of this campaign. Here's what we've heard so far:

If you've experienced a cardiac incident, please take a moment to complete this survey:

Thanks to our supporting partner:

Pulse Point