A firefighter participating in live-fire training exercises
suffered a heart attack as a result of heat stroke and dehydration.
He collapsed during a rest break while wearing full personal
protective equipment. After immediately receiving first
aid and oxygen, he was taken to a nearby hospital, where
Safe work practices:
- Before allowing firefighters to participate in training
exercises, assess their blood pressure, heart rate, and
temperature to ensure that they fall within acceptable
- Ensure that firefighters know the early signs and symptoms
of heat stress like weakness, dizziness, headache,
nausea, and lack of coordination. They should watch for
these signs in themselves and other firefighters.
- Make sure that, while training,
firefighters get regular rest
breaks in cool, well-ventilated
areas, and provide them
with sufficient water and
- Ensure that firefighters cool
down during rest breaks by
removing their turnout gear.
- Appoint a rehabilitation officer to each training session to monitor firefighters and to ensure that they
drink plenty of water and cool off during breaks.
- Establish procedures to treat firefighters who are experiencing heat stress as well as the more serious and
life-threatening heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
For more information about establishing a rehabilitation
program, contact the Fire Chiefs' Association of BC at firstname.lastname@example.org.