What is the Captain Buscio Program?

Blood Pressure Cuff

Have you ever heard of the Captain Buscio Program? If you work or volunteer in the emergency services in New Jersey, you likely have heard of this program. If you are new to the emergency services, you might not know what the Captain Buscio Program does for firefighters, police officers, and other emergency responders. We will take an in-depth look at the program in today's post.

The largest killer of firefighters are heart attacks. For this reason alone, the widow of Captain Dominick Buscio created the program for not only firefighters, but for all emergency responders. Captain Buscio suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 39 during a family vacation. He was a dedicated Captain with the Jersey City Fire Department.

Just 19 months prior to his death Captain Buscio received a clean bill of health at his physical. The only issue present was that his cholesterol level was moderately high. Other than that, nothing came back abnormal or concerning from his physical. The Captain Buscio Program, also known as A Gift from Captain Buscio, began in Jersey City and has since spread across the entire state of New Jersey.

What Does the Program Offer?

The Captain Buscio Program offers the following for first responders:

- Annual examinations

- Confidential examinations

- Cardiovascular and pulmonary examinations

- No out-of-pocket costs

The exams are performed by pulmonologists and cardiologists at Deborah Heart and Lung Center and Cardio Pulmonary Diagnostic, LLC. Posters explaining the program hang in firehouses across the state and many departments urge their members to have the examination performed annually in addition to department-required exams and personal visits with their physicians.

Some of the testing that is conducted includes the following:

- X-rays

- Blood work

- Cardiovascular screening

- Pulmonary function testing

Once all of the testing is completed, the patient is then provided with a comprehensive medical report that they can use at their discretion. This report can be taken to other medical specialists, their family physician, and the department doctor.

Patients who have scheduled an appointment for the Captain Buscio Program will be asked to bring a list of all medications they are currently taking. Medical staff members will also explain what else will be needed if this is your first time taking advantage of the program. All emergency responders are encouraged to schedule an exam using the Captain Buscio Program on an annual basis.


According to the New England Journal of Medicine, from 1994 to 2004, 45 percent of all on-duty firefighter deaths were somehow related to a cardiac issue. The New England Journal of Medicine also found that 32 percent of the time a firefighter suffered a cardiac event, it occurred during the act of fire suppression. The next closest category was an alarm return at 17 percent. The lowest category was EMS/Non-Fire activities at nine percent.

If you are interested in learning more about the Captain Buscio Program or the Hunter's Heroes Foundation, you can complete the contact form on our website. If you would like to donate to the foundation, you can do so via our website.

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