Protecting the Protectors: How Medical Surveillance Keeps Police and Firefighters Safe
White Paper Summary
The Department of Labor classifies occupations into five buckets depending on the physical demands involved — sedentary, low, medium, heavy and very heavy. The roles of police officers and firefighters fall into the “very heavy” category.
These first responders must be prepared to spring into action at a moment’s notice. Speed, strength and endurance are all must-haves, and new recruits are tested on all three before acceptance into their respective disciplines.
But the ability to churn out 40 pushups per minute or run a 7-minute mile doesn’t necessarily paint a complete picture of a first responder’s health.
Police officers and firefighters face occupational health hazards beyond sprains and strains. They are also exposed to an array of dangerous substances that could lead to disease if left unchecked.
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