Occupational stress is inherent in firefighting and emergency response. But at no time in the history of the American fire service has this been more acute—as the increase in arson, acts of domestic violence, terrorist acts, automobile accidents, airplane crashes, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes will attest. The rigors of firefighting, rescue and victim extrication are such that only the bravest among us need apply.
Other stresses on firefighters are more subtle, such as the effect of receiving alerts in the fire station – especially at night. Interrupted sleep, startling alarms and bright lights take their toll immediately as heart rates soar in response to alerts and again later with the onset of fatigue due to sleep deprivation. Read More