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On-site cardiac screenings for law enforcement in Ontario County

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  • Staff Report 

An advanced cardiac testing initiative has potentially saved the lives of several Ontario law enforcement personnel, as Northeast Medical Diagnostics of Long Island brought its medical bus into town last week.

Over two days, approximately 100 deputies, state troopers, and police officers from Ontario County, Canandaigua, Geneva, and Finger Lakes Community College, as well as Hopewell firefighters, underwent screenings for heart disease, stroke, and aneurysms.

According to Dr. Perry Frankel, the cardiologist overseeing the tests, a number of officers were referred directly to the hospital for interventions like stents and heart bypasses, despite many showing no prior symptoms.

The diagnostic bus, equipped with two stress test machines and five ultrasound tables, is capable of carrying out screenings for carotid artery and heart issues. The initiative was launched locally by Ontario County Sheriff David Cirencione, after learning of the significant cardiac risk faced by law enforcement personnel.

Cirencione highlighted that officers are more prone to heart attacks and aneurysms at a younger age compared to the general population, and that their high-stress work environment can increase the chances of sudden cardiac death dramatically during pursuits. Emphasizing the vital role of good nutrition and exercise, Dr. Frankel stated that the ability to provide this service for officers was critical in addressing these serious health concerns.