Episode Transcription

[00:00:15] Erik: So what are we, what are we going to talk about today, Matt?

[00:00:24] Matt: We’re going to talk about, well, a very hot topic. Alright. What do you got?

[00:00:27] Erik: Well it’s some things a trivia here. Oh, trivia. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So why do why do we use the Dalmatian in the fire service?

What’s the significance of the Dalmatian? Oh, dalmatians.

[00:00:38] Matt: I didn’t know this. I think I’ve heard this before. Good companions? I don’t know. I’m not, I don’t know

[00:00:46] Erik: specifically. They get along well with horses. Oh, okay. And they could run alongside the horse drawn. Fire apparatus, pump yester year. Yeah. So interesting.

Here’s another one. Okay. Who’s the f whose credit is being the, the father? Of, of fire? Well, the first firefighting service in Philadelphia. Who was Yeah, Ben Franklin. Yeah. Oh good. I didn’t know that. That’s interesting. Yeah. Father of the fire service. Yeah. The, the they called it Benjamin Franklin’s Fire Brigade.

Oh, no. Bucket brigade. Bucket Brigade. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:01:14] Matt: You know why they called it a bucket brigade? No. Why? They called it bucket. Yeah. Because they would hand off buckets and then actually he knew that, that’s pretty common knowledge.

[00:01:20] Erik: Yeah. Yeah. I, I just wasn’t thinking when I was talking.

[00:01:25] Matt: I do that a lot. I was going to say simple.

That’s what my wife tells me. Do you ever let it go through the filter before it comes outta your mouth?

[00:01:31] Erik: No. Sometimes no. I have an underdeveloped thalamus. Did you know that everything gets filtered by a thalamus? I mean, all your senses get filtered by a thalmus. It’s part of your brain. Yeah. Your, your things you hear, you see all of them interprets it for you.

They get filtered through the thalamus before they get here, neocortex. But there’s one sense though that does not get filtered by the thalamus. Goes straight to the brain smell. That’s right. Really straight. Straight


[00:01:55] Erik: the brain. Straight up guess. Yeah. And I think that’s why a lot of the smells will trigger memories.

Memories. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Anyway, sorry, we’re a little off topic. We digress. Molly Williams, Molly Williams, any No idea. First recorded female to serve as a firefighter in an official capacity who was in New York City in 1815. She’s also African American and really?

[00:02:21] Matt: Yeah. In 1815. Wow.

[00:02:23] Erik: And during a blizzard in 1818 when a lot of the colleagues and male firefighters were down with influenza mm-hmm.

She stepped. As the lone firefighter serving her community trudging through the snow area with a fire pump. Yeah. Yeah. So 4% of all firefighters today are female. Mm-hmm. So 96% are are male. Yeah. It is definitely a male dominated Yeah. Career. So that’s, That’s kind of cool. So yeah, Molly Williams.

That’s cool. I gotta read more about her. Interesting.

[00:02:53] Matt: That’s amazing too. Not just female that long ago, but an African American female that Uhhuh. That’s really amazing. Pretty cool. That is very cool!

[00:02:59] Erik: And now here’s here’s the last one I have for you, which I think relates to our topic. It is what do you think is most likely to kill a firefighter in a fire?

Matt: Heart attack.

Erik: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a heart attack. It’s not the fire itself. Yeah, it’s the hazard of that. It’s the, it’s actual 12 times more likely to have a heart attack while putting out a fire. Yeah. And then anything else?

[00:03:18] Matt: Well, and then like you say, it relates to the topic that we’re going to talk about today, which is a hot topic in the fire service right now.

But I mean, when you think about you’re dead asleep, you know, if you’re in a rim cycle or whatever, and your heart rates. 55 and you’re just dead asleep, and then the tones drop and literally within two minutes you’re wearing 70 pounds of gear rolling lights and sirens to a call. Mm-hmm. If that call happens to be a structure fire and the stress that that takes on your body of going from rest to not just being awake, but.

Within 10 minutes and then back to sleep again. Extreme exertion. Yeah, exactly. And then, you know, an hour or two, whatever hours later, if you get back to bed that night. Mm-hmm. You’re trying to rest again. Yeah.

[00:04:03] Erik: You know, when I As a Nour, that’s what I would call myself as, as knock. I was an, I was an ER doctor and I liked working at night.

Really? I like being, yeah, I like the nights and you know, sometimes you know, my wife and family, right? Friends would be concerned about my health because I was sleeping at in the daytime and working at night. And, and there’s data out there that suggests, and, and I think it’s true, is that you, your life expectancy goes down being a night shift.

And but the interesting thing though is I was reading about some of the sleep research, you know the cortisol levels are the big deal. Mm-hmm. But, but my point though, as an ER doctor I would work during the night mm-hmm. And sleep during the day. Right. Well, you know, you’ve been to my house.

Yeah. I built a sleep room. Yeah. And it was pitch. You know, no Windows cave. It’s like my kids called me Batman. Cause I was like, that’s my dad’s bat cave. You know? And, and when it was time for me to sleep, my wife would bring people to the other side of the house just to keep it quiet, right? To protect my sleep.

I didn’t have my phone in there with me. Man, I slept like a. Baby. That sounds amazing. For eight hours straight. Yeah. Or more Yeah. Recovering from working all night. Right. Right. And you get into that rhythm of sleeping during the day. Yep. Uninterrupted sleep. And, and that’s, that’s actually damaging to your health, even what I’m describing.

Yeah. But what’s happening in the fire service though, is that you’re, you’re, you are going to be working all day. Mm-hmm. And then when you go to sleep, it’s interrupted all night long and it’s not. You know the dog next door was barking. No, you’re waking up high adrenaline fighting a fire high, like a big emergency CPR.

You got to be on your game. Yeah. And you get ramped up. And then when it’s over adrenaline.

[00:05:52] Matt: Trying to get over an adrenaline rush. Yeah. And then you got to get back to sleep.

[00:05:52] Erik: Yeah. Then, and then you wake up for some 40 year old guy that can’t change a smoke detector and then you’re back in bed again. Whatever, you know?

Yep. So that interrupted sleep is, is it’s taking the sleep deprivation to a whole new level. Yeah. So it’s not just being a night shifter kind of thing. Right. Yeah. This, it’s so much more damaging to your health to have that. Interrupted sleep and your cortisol levels are all over the place, your body is confused and the cortisol levels have been tied to a lot of health abnormalities.

Inflammation, which is kind of the, the that’s, that’s how we develop these plaques in our arteries. Not just a bad diet. The inflammation actually contributes to a lot of the right, the comorbidities of, of, of heart disease.

[00:06:40] Matt: Yeah. Which is again, that’s the big push right now, or push big hot topic in the fire service is the 48 96 schedule.

Mm-hmm. So, you know, traditionally most departments have worked at 24 48, 24 on 48 off, you know, and now a lot of departments are going to 48 hours on with 96 hours off. Yeah. For the exact reason that you’re talking about is being, allowing firefighters to go home. Not just have, you know, one night of rest.

Cuz you think about it, like if I’m, right now where I work, it’s 24 40 eights, so I sleep or whatever. I get off that morning, I go home, I get a full night’s rest that night. But then the next night, I mean I get up at four in the morning to get ready and come into the station. So, you know, and you’re almost kind of think of it and you, and you don’t really let your.

Even at home Uhhuh, especially, I think, I’ve worked at busy stations and I’ve worked at slower stations, and I’ve worked at, when I’ve worked at busier stations where you are running, you know, a lot of calls at night. It’s

[00:07:47] Erik: hard. What’s, what’s a lot, I, I think I read that nationally the average is two or three on average at night.

That sounds problematic, but I mean, some busier stations, some, some, some folks don’t have any calls to, well, I

[00:07:59] Matt: mean, you think. If you’re eight hours, you know, if you go to bed at 10 o’clock at night and you’re getting up at six, eight hours mm-hmm. And you get up three times. But again, like you said, you’re not just getting up to go pee.

No. You’re getting up and if it’s a fire, you’re going to be out there for hours. Yep. Typically you know, if it’s a major accident, if it’s an EMS call, you’re looking at, at least at my department, you’re looking at about an hour round trip. Yeah. From the time the tones go. Till, you know, you make the call, you take the patient to the hospital, you drop ’em off, you come back, you do your report, you’re looking at about an hour.

Yeah. For just the call time. But then you finish your report, you go lay in bed and you get this out and you sit there looking at your cell phone, what you know everybody does. You sit there for 20, 30 minutes trying to wind back down. Mm-hmm. To go to sleep. So now you’re looking at an hour and a half, or maybe even two hours.

And again, all that’s dependent upon. Your transport times, all that. Mm-hmm. Then you finally doze off again, and then bam, the tone’s hit again. Right. And you make another call. When I did a ride out on a major in Dallas they were getting toned out. I mean, we’d come back crawling to bed, and it was every 15, 20 minutes.

Hmm. We’d get another call. Yeah. And you’d run that call and come back and lay down in your bed for mm-hmm. You know, maybe 30. And boom, you’re getting up. Yeah. You know, so those guys working in busy, busy systems, especially on an ambulance, they’re running 10 calls a night. Yeah. You know, they’re just nonstop.

[00:09:23] Erik: Yeah. Doing a 48 96, there may not be ideal. Yeah. You know, the one thing I noticed when I was on call working in the hospital maybe on a, a rotation in ICU, for example, I’m sleeping in the hospital. Mm-hmm. And I remember. Gosh, this is a long time ago. Back when the earth was young, we were using pagers, you know?

Oh yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. The numbers in it. Yeah. And I remember the 9 1 1, the, the dang, yeah. The dang buzz. You know, when there was something happening, a code blue or whatever, I had to cover the whole hospital. I was just, I felt this weight on my belt, so to speak. Yeah. Of having that pager. And I didn’t sleep well, even if I didn’t any calls.

Yeah. I never. Totally rested just because I, I was just waiting for the buzz on my Absolutely. My and I sleep pretty heavy, so I couldn’t put the pager on the bedside stand and the little sleeper I was in, I was afraid it wouldn’t wake me up. So I had to wear it and, and it would startle me. Yeah. And, and I had to go and run a code down the hall In the icu.

Yeah. Yeah. But my, even if I didn’t get a call, I still didn’t get restful sleep. Maybe. I don’t know. Do you feel

[00:10:26] Matt: that way? Oh, hunter and I’m, I’m the opposite. I’m a light sleep. I mean, a mouse farts and I wake up, you know, that’s just, but, and that has become worse working in the fire service. And again, especially at Busy Station where you know, you’re, you’re you, you lay down and you’re kind of like, and I’m sure every fireman’s probably think this like, oh God, please just let me get a full night.

I just, I just want to sleep. I’m so tired. Especially like you said, if you’ve had a busy day running calls and training you just lay down in that bed and you’re just like, oh, please don’t let the nursing home call for a fall patient. You know, something silly.

[00:11:00] Erik: One thing I like to do as medical director is sleep at the station.

Yeah. And, and do a, a ride out. Not just during the day, but overnight. Yeah. And I sleeping in that room I don’t sleep well. It kind of reminds me of being on call. Yeah. You’re over. And I did, and I’m just waiting. I remember. Is this a. Few weeks ago I was sleeping over at station two and, and I got this, got a call, the tones went off and actually had to, happened to be for a smoke detector.

And this guy, he had to have been a professional football player, like very capable of climbing a lap. Oh, yes. Anyway, so that was the call, but I remember when the tones went off, I forgot where I was. I was so, yeah, so confused.

[00:11:38] Matt: Done that. Wait, am I where, where I wake up and I. Did I, did the tone block, did I miss something?

Yeah. The heavy sleepers a lot of times will sleep in the recliners, but Uhhuh. But yeah, back to that 48 point 96 topic, that’s a big topic right now because there’s a lot of data and there’s a lot of research that’s keeps coming out. Mm-hmm. That having those 96 hours to really get rest, really get a night, two nights, three nights of a good night’s sleep.

Reconnecting with your family. Yeah. Having that time. Is really showing, it’s showing signs of being really beneficial for firefighters, their health, their mental health not just their physical health, but their mental health as well, because, like you say, they’re reconnecting with their families and and a lot of departments in, in this area are starting to go to it.

Mm-hmm. My department is currently gathering data and looking at the benefits for us as firefighters. So it’s, it’s interesting everybody that I have talked. Who has worked in a system that does it? They said they loved it. Hmm. Even the people that were against going to it at first, once they went to it, even the naysayers were like, I would not go back to working at 24 48.

So, I don’t know what else. You in a busy department. Yeah. These, there’s some, I’ve, I’ve talked to some people that have worked in pretty divi, busy departments right around here. And I, I’ve heard one department does some interesting. To alleviate, especially if you’re on a busy ambulance. Mm-hmm. And you’re just getting call after call.

They’ve done some, some creative things to try to get those guys some rest. Like this particular department, they have four man staffing on their fire apparatus. So one of the things that they did was if you’re on an ambulance and you’re just getting hammered, they will, they’ll, the, the company officer can actually take the guy.

So if me and you are riding on an a. Say, Hey, you guys are getting your butts kicked ball. You get over on the engine and then they take Smith off the engine or truck and they put him on the ambulance for like an eight hour break. Huh? And so I can then go in, yeah, and hopefully not get any calls, but he’ll let me go back and get some rest and then, or they’ll switch both of us for the two tail boards on the engine or the truck and say, okay, you guys are now on for an eight hour shift.

Or they’ll say, me and you are on it for the first 24. And then we swap the second 24 hours they get on the medic and we get on the truck. Yeah, because traditionally the engine or the truck isn’t going to make as many calls as the as the the ambulance. Another thing that I’ve heard some departments do is that first 48 is geared towards a normal workday.

So that first, first 48. I’m sorry. First 24. First 24. Is geared towards, that’s when you’re doing your training. Yeah. That’s when you’re doing your cleaning. You go to the store, like you do all of your duty kind of things. And then the second 24 hours is more like just run calls. Yeah, just chill out, run calls.

Now obviously you get tours and things come up, but as far as from a department standpoint, they, they’re making an attempt to not put anything on the calendar during that second 48 to allow the guys times to. They allow them, like during the day you can go back to your bed, get a good nap, things of that nature.

So I, so I think there’s some, here’s what I found. I think there, I think there’s some, tell us what you found serious, trying to find stuff, but I think there’s some creative ways that you can work on the rest thing if you are at a busy. Station.

[00:15:07] Erik: Couple questions for you. First of all the overtime seems to be a desire.

A lot of guys, they wanna work overtime. And when you’re doing a 20 Yeah. You know, 24, 48 Yeah. One of those days. You know, you gotta use for your, you know, maybe an overtime shift or, or maybe they have an extra job too. I don’t, I mean these most, most of us do. Yeah. And then you know, so, so I’m curious and then you got the mandatory stuff too, right?

Yes. Some you know that all of these things,

[00:15:33] Matt: trades is another issue. Yep.

[00:15:35] Erik: Doing trade out options. Then you worked 48 straight, 24 off. Yeah, so I think, I think I’m just curious cuz you’re, you’re obviously no heck of a lot more than I do about this, but how common is mandatory over time? How common, I mean, is is it like what percentage of, of your, your fire department is really seeking out over time and likes over time?

Or would be disappointed if overtime went away?

[00:15:58] Matt: Yeah, so we have to do mandatory overtime ever since 2020 with Covid. Mandatory and overtime in general, and I think this is probably pretty universal. It comes in waves. Mm-hmm. You know, you, especially my department, as you know, is growing rapidly. We’ve more than doubled in size since I’ve been there and continuing to grow.

So we have a unique situation where a lot of times we’re short on people and we need more people. So ever since 2020 in my department, Overtime’s just been, yeah, insane. And there’s been periods throughout my time where there was no time to be had. I mean, you could put your name down for overtime every shift, and you might get two or three shifts a year if you were lucky.

And then there’s other times where it’s like you’re getting hit with mandatory every other shift, because that’s just the nature of the beast. So I think it’s department dependent mandatory. But I know a lot of the surrounding departments in this area ever since Covid, ever since 20. There has been a lot more mandatory overtime and overtime in general than in previous years.

[00:17:05] Erik: How would this affect the 20 if you went to a 48 96? How does that affect overtime, mandatory overtime, people with jobs, I

[00:17:12] Matt: mean trades and all that? Yeah, so there’s lots of, like my department specifically right now, we have a policy where you cannot work more than 72 hours without a 12 hour. Now, not every department, some departments don’t have any policies on that.

You could work six days in a row if you wanted to. But my de policy, my department specifically, I cannot work more than 72 hours. I have to have a 12 hour break before I can come back. And that’s all about sleep. And, you know, driving a firetruck, like, you know, you got to be safe doing that. So there’s a lot of different ways you can do that.

You know, you could do a a 24-hour trade, or maybe you just get a 24 hour spot. So somebody, instead of taking a full 24 off, or excuse me, a full 48 hours off, maybe they just take the first 24 off. So if you have four days off and say you’re taking a vacation with your family and it’s a five day vacation, maybe you just need that first half of that 48 off.

Yeah. So maybe that overtime spot is just for that 24. So you’re really only working 72 and then you get 72 off before you’re coming back for the next. Where right now, for the past three years we’ve been working, I mean, I’ve worked a tremendous amount of overtime. You’re, a lot of times you’re working 48 with 24 off, coming back for another 24 or even another 48.

Not uncommon. So, and as far as firefighters working overtime, you. It’s, it’s all over the map. You have guys that, that is their second job is working overtime and they love it. Mm-hmm. And then you have guys that never wanna work. They’re, every time they get hit with mandatory, they’re trying to give it away because of family obligations or side business, whatever it is.

And then, you know, so it’s all over the map with firefighters in overtime, I, I certainly like overtime, but I think across the board, firefighters want overtime when it’s convenient for them and they hate it when it’s not convenient for them. Sure, that makes sense. And mandatory never hits at a convenient time.

It never hits them. No.

[00:19:10] Erik: It’s the same way in the ER, when somebody gets sick and I have to work, it’s a bummer. Yeah. I mean, I’ll do it. Yeah. But it’s a bummer. But when it’s something that I really want, I’m happy to do it. Yeah. The other thing I think that we haven’t really hit on is the, the effect on the family.

Yep. A lot of the fire, most of the firefighters, I don’t know what the percentage is, but most are married, I think. Yep. Yep. I mean, I’m not sure on divorce rates and most are married to nurses or teachers? Nurses and teachers. Okay. Typically. Okay. Yeah. And you know, the other thing, when you’re, when you’re working a 24 48, I know for me personally as an ER doctor, like if we go on vacation and I’m coming straight off a night shift and we’re getting on the, in the car to go drive somewhere, right?

Yep. It usually takes a day to recover from, from the, the shifts that I worked. I mean, I’m there with the family, but mentally I’m not fully engaged. This usually takes a period of time for me to kind of get where I’m really fully engaged with the family. I’m not, I’m fully myself and I’m, you know, I don’t know.

I just don’t, almost like I’m in a fog a little bit for a period of time. A hundred percent. And then you’d have maybe after 24 hours, I’m just throwing that number out. Yeah. And I was like, okay, I’m back to normal now. Well, it’s.

[00:20:19] Matt: You’re, you’re coming down off of that like almost an adrenaline dump, right?

Cause I’m sure mm-hmm. You get the same thing in the ER like we do. Yeah. So you’re coming down off of, off, off of all that adrenaline you have, your body has to recuperate and rest mm-hmm. And recover. Yeah. I, I, it takes a day or two to get on vacation to truly be like, okay, I’m not at work. The tones, the pager’s not going off.

I can. I can get some sleep. I know I’m not going to get woke up tonight.

[00:20:44] Erik: And we’re not working in a grocery store stocking shelves. Nothing against that job. No, no. We are working so different in an environment where we’re seeing some pretty heinous trauma. Yes. And we’re seeing some pretty emotional, you know, the charged situations.

Absolutely. Whether it’s a, a psychiatric emergency or a suicide or a Yeah. A bad traffic accident or pediatric patients cardiac arrest. P I mean, there’s so many traumatic things that Yeah, We see in the pre-hospital environment and in the. Where there is something, I believe I’ve heard it called moral trauma.

There’s all sorts of names for it, but the point is there’s something that happens subconsciously in our minds, being exposed to all that crap. Not a better word for it. It’s tough.

[00:21:24] Matt: Well, and there’s like, you could even talk P T S D, which is a whole other topic, but you know, they talk about military. You go in and those guys get an extreme amount.

Trauma in a short period of time, whereas a firefighter or a police officer, EMS worker, yeah, you’re getting small doses, but it’s over 20 cumulative 30 years. Mm-hmm. And when you add that up, I mean, I’ve even heard veterans say like the amount of trauma that that first responders get is way more. Yeah.

Because they never get a break from it. Like those guys will go on a tour. You know, and six months a year or whatever, and then they come back and maybe they’re in the military. Now, certainly you have career military people, but again, that’s kind of a side topic. But yeah, that constant. Year after year, after year call after call.

[00:22:13] Erik: Yep. That totally affects your sleep, you know? And I don’t think people understand, you know, and I, I’ll do men’s health talks from time to time mm-hmm. As a physician and sometimes, and we’ve talked about this before. Yeah. And we did a podcast on it too. Yeah. Yep. It’s like, it’s not all about exercise and nutrition.

No. Rest and, and not just sleep, but but mental health too. Yes. And we get recharged in our families when we have a positive family environment. Yeah. But if you’re also going through a divorce or you have family stresses, financial stresses Oh yeah. Home’s not that restful. No. And then we find ourselves working more over time and now the Yeah.

And it, and it, and it can become a vicious cycle. And I think that is a large. To bring it back to what we started our conversation with are the, the. Detriments of our jobs. It’s hazardous. Mm-hmm. And I’m not, and, and we could do another podcast on the hazardous chemicals and toxins that we’re exposed to in the fires.

[00:23:04] Matt: Yeah.

[00:23:06] Erik: The entire other story, which contributes to the overall health of a firefighter. And, and there’s a reason why the life expectancy is lower now. There’s a lot of stuff out there. We’re not going to get into it right now. I’ve heard people say that, you know, on average firefighters live five years after retirement.

I’ve heard 10 years lower than the average. There’s a lot of different numbers, but the point is, is that you are sacrificing your health and wellness and your longevity to serve other people, which sure, that’s, that’s. It’s great. Right? But the other, is it really necessary? Are there things that we can do to prevent some of those health detriments?

Yes. How significant are the toxins that you’re exposed to? How significance is the emotional trauma? On you and your family. How does that, I mean, it’s not just the effect on the family in your sleep, it’s also the relationships with your spouse, your significant other, your, your family, your kids or whatever, your friends.

I mean, we as humans need relationships and we have to foster those. And if you’re working in these environments working overtime, tired, it’s hard to maintain relation, I mean

[00:24:12] Matt: Yep. High divorce rates, that’s for sure.

[00:24:14] Erik: Yeah. So what. The, what do you think, I mean, when you think about all the things that can affect the health of a firefighter, what do you think is the number one thing that’s going to be a health detriment?

[00:24:26] Matt: Ooh, that’s hard because I mean, when you look at the accumulative effects of poor sleep, when you look at the accumulative effects, like you said, of exposure to chemicals and all this stuff, the, the the things that we get exposed to, I, that would be hard. The diet sometimes isn’t the best.

Mm-hmm. We like to eat the firehouse. So I think all of it, I think it relates back to a balance and if you choose that career, you choose the risks, which we all do willingly. No problem with that. But I think like looking at the 48/96 schedule, if that schedule can help one aspect mm-hmm. Of the health issues that firefighters.

Are facing, then I think it’s certainly worth looking at, just like better bunker gear or saunas in a fire station, all kinds of things that deal with the chemical side. If the 48/96 schedule can help with sleep deprivation. Better home life because you’re home a little bit more. Although my wife probably will.

Yeah. Yeah. She likes me being gone by 24 hours. She likes the bed to herself. But I think if that 48/96 schedule is shows to, to really help with the sleep thing, then I think it’s something that really should be looked at by chiefs and departments to, to go to.

[00:25:36] Erik: Well, because see the answer to that, if I was asked the same question that I asked you, I, I would say it is the sleep.

And it’s not just the sleep, it’s the cortisol levels like we talked about. Right. I think that is the, the, the, the, to me, we, we, there’s a lot of data out there. Mm-hmm. We don’t really know. We’re looking into it, we’re trying to figure it out. I’ve talked to a lot of different people and Yeah. Discuss things.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff happening right now with Firefighter Health and Wellness. But I really do believe it’s, and again, it sleeps a lot. Yeah. But does the mental health side of it as well. All of these things I think, play a part in, in the, in the health of a firefighter more, I think, than the toxins, in my opinion.


[00:26:15] Matt: Is Well, and a lot of that’s exposure too, you know? Mm-hmm. Like if you’re in a big urban area, you’re fighting more fires then I’m doing in a suburban department. They’re exposed to a lot more chemicals than we are. True. You think about the guys in nine 11 that were on that pile, they were exposed to all kinds of stuff.

Oh yeah. You know, so, but we’re all deal with the sleep problem. Yeah. You know, that’s a universal thing.

[00:26:34] Erik: Here’s the thought, I’ll leave you with this. Did you know that you can live longer without food than sleep?

[00:26:38] Matt: Well, that’s what I was going to say. It’s water. And then sleep is next, right? Yeah. And I mean, people absolutely lose their minds.

What’s, what’s the longest, like five days or something like that?

[00:26:47] Erik: Well, they’ve studied this and we talked about, I think we mentioned this in another podcast, but they study in beagles and they estimate it, it wouldn’t be an ethical study to deprive people of sleep.

[00:26:58] Matt: Well, they did it as, as like a, a for pow.

That was a form of torture. It

[00:27:02] Erik: was sleeping them away. Well, I know as the number one form of torture, sleep deprivation. Yes. But true sleep deprivation is really like even preventing the little micros sleeps. Right. And if you can do that, they, they, they estimate you’d be dead between nine and 10 days.

You thought micro sleeping by the way. Yeah, Mike gets just a quick little nap.

[00:27:20] Matt: Yeah. That’s all firemen love naps, but sleep is super important.

[00:27:24] Erik: Yeah. And I think the 48/96 is something that we within the fire service and then me as a medical director, yeah. I feel like it’s my responsibility to communicate.

These things from the benefits from medical perspective, right. It is. I think the me, the benefits to our firefighter community to be in a 48/96 is significant something. At the very least, our fire, the leadership within our fire service needs to really strongly consider and look at the data. Yep. And find ways to make it fit if you are in a busier department.

[00:27:51] Matt: Yeah. Yeah. Like the departments we’ve talked about, there’s ways to be creative with it. Yeah.

[00:27:56] Erik: Well, I think that’s one thing that we believe here Yep. You know, is is really looking out for the health of our communities. But man, just the whole philosophy and the fire service of scene safety first.

Mm-hmm. Gosh, shouldn’t we be using that and, and aligning ourselves with that same philosophy when we’re taking care of ourselves. Yeah. Yeah, I, I think the 48/96 has gotta be considered. Yep, yep. Something to look at. Well, it’s fun talking about this as a big topic. We’ll probably have another subsequent follow up on this at

[00:28:25] Matt: some point, but I’m, it’s a, it’s a hot topic right now, that’s for sure.

[00:28:28] Erik: Yeah.

Cool. Well, thanks for your time, Matt. This is good.