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2017-08-11 / Features

Virginia Fire Department Run Report: Jul. 31 – Aug. 6 , 2017

During the week of July 31 – August 6, the Virginia Fire Department was called for service 76 times; nine fire calls, 18 transfers, and 49 EMS 9-1-1 calls. The fire calls varied from two lift assists, two smoke alarm activations, a cooking fire, an electrical problem, and four times dispatched and cancelled. The transfers brought us to Cook Hospital, Essentia Health-Northern Pines in Aurora, and Essentia Health-Virginia to transport patients to Miller Dwan, St. Luke’s, and Essentia Health-St. Mary’s in Duluth. The 49 9-1-1 calls brought us to eight different communities; Biwabik, Cook, Eveleth, Gilbert, Iron, Mountain Iron, Tower, and Virginia. These patients were transported to four different hospitals: Cook Hospital, Essentia Health-Virginia, Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing, and Essentia Health-St. Mary’s. During this week, our busiest day was Wednesday and the number one reason for calls was chest pain. We performed 92 procedures and administered 56 different medicines. We treated more women (39) than men (28) with the average age being 61 years old.

The fire marshal’s office was busy working on code enforcement and fire inspections as well as fire prevention planning. The fire explorers have added three new members bringing their membership up to twelve. Both staff members and explorers helped with the National Night Out. We thank the community for their continued support of all the emergency services and efforts in keeping a safe and healthy community.

Since cardiac or chest pain is many times our number one reason for being dispatched, below is a quick summary of about cardiovascular disease. Guidelines recommend that all people aged 40 or more should have a routine cardiovascular risk assessment. A risk factor calculator is commonly used by doctors and nurses to assess the risk of you developing a cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, angina, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Treatment is recommended if you have a high risk.

What are cardiovascular diseases or heart disease? Mayo Clinic describes it as a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.

The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.

Who should have their cardiovascular health risk assessed? Adults of any age who have:

• A strong family history of an early cardiovascular disease. This means if you have a father or brother who developed heart disease or a stroke before they were aged 55, or in a mother or sister before they were aged 65.

• A first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, child) with a serious hereditary lipid disorder. For example, familial hypercholesterolaemia or familial combined hyperlipidaemia. These diseases are uncommon. Here is a link for quick self-assessment

from the Mayo Clinic. It takes about 5 minutes and can be a good start to your assessment. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ heart-disease/in-depth/heart-diseaserisk/itt-20084942#. Although it should not replace a visit to your doctor.

Submitted by Fire Chief Allen Lewis, Virginia Fire Department.

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