CDC Current Intelligence Bulletin 67: Fire Service Epidemic
There's an epidemic in the American fire service, and terrifyingly little is known about it. Some estimate that as many as 1% of your brothers and sisters might already be infected, while others claim that number is as high as 10%, although evidence is clearly showing that the incidence rate is rising. If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you're already infected; and since this disease is highly contagious, there's also a good chance that you've unknowingly infected numerous others.
The hallmarks of this disease include: an insatiable appetite for knowledge and constant focus on your craft. Other symptoms include relentless drilling, training, reading, sweating and questioning, leading to increased proficiency on the fireground. The CDC has developed a quick, three question diagnostic test (highly reliable and valid) that one can use to determine if they're infected.
1. Can we push fire with a hoseline?
2. Is your pimp hand loose?
3. When out with your significant other, do you often find yourself sizing-up doors and buildings?
- If you answered No, Yes and Always, respectively...then you're most likely contaminated.
The etiology of this disease is unknown, but there is a strong causal link between great mentors and infected individuals. Many claim that this disease has been around for generations, while others claim centuries. There are numerous accusations (although scientifically unfounded) reporting Franklin, Layman or Fredericks as the fire service's "Typhoid Mary"; although no one knows whom the original host was. An unnamed source even went as far as stating that he has evidence that FDIC is an orgy of infestation, and that The Godfather (Chief Halton) is not only aware of this, but that he has been proactively working to make this a global pandemic. Recently, cases of this disease have even been found as far away as England, Sweden, India and Chile.
Predictably, like seemingly everything else about this disease, the route of transmission is not fully understood, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it's spread through copious amounts of sweat. At this time, the long-term prognosis for this disease is unknown. There is no known cure, and the CDC is advising palliative care and symptom management, to include: reading articles and books, training, going to conferences and going to working fires.
If you, or someone you know may be infected, contact the CDC and your PCP immediately.