Predicting Cardiovascular Risk and Fitness in Firefighters
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Award Number EMW-2009-FP-00835
Non-Invasive Identification of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Cardiomegaly in Firefighters
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Award Number EMW-2011-FP-00663
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Award Number EMW-2014-FP-00612
The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and are under the purview of the Grant Programs Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Stefanos N. Kales MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM, the principal investigator, is highly experienced in managing this type of project. He has participated in a wide range of research, advisory, and teaching activities on five continents, resulting in over 100 publications and wide recognition nationally and internationally. Dr. Kales’ primary research focuses on the health of firefighters and other public safety professionals, and he has worked with the fire service in particular for over 20 years. He has received Massachusetts, US Federal, and Canadian funding with a proven record of success, producing more than 35 peer-reviewed publications related to firefighting.
Dr. Kales’ group has provided seminal contributions in the clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular events in firefighters and has become most influential in determining the causal relationship of heart disease among firefighters to their job activities and other factors. His group’s work includes the first definitive statistical association of strenuous job tasks and on-duty cardiovascular deaths, which was subsequently confirmed in a later New England Journal of Medicine publication.
As a result of these research efforts, Dr. Kales has influenced national thinking among occupational physicians regarding firefighter’s fitness for duty, the need for improved wellness programs, better control of risk factors, and whether firefighters can safely return to work in the presence of significant coronary heart disease, as well as methods for determining the causal relationship of heart disease among public safety personnel to their job activities and other factors. He was a plenary speaker at the National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation 2011 summit on these issues, and in 2013, he was presented the Kehoe Award for Excellence in Education and Research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) for this influential body of work.