Firefighter safety, risk management and insurance have taken on more and more interest in the past few years. We thought it was time to discuss current trends in risk management with one of the fire service's leading risk-management professionals. William F. Jenaway, Ph.D., CSP, CFOD, CFPS, has...
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JENAWAY: I learned many years ago while taking basic safety engineering classes that you first avoid the adverse scenario if possible, next you attempt to prevent the accident from occurring, then if it does occur, you want to reduce the impact through such aspects as personal protective equipment, training, administrative procedures, etc. You decide on the method to use based on the type of accidents and extent of injury/illness that occur. We in the fire service need to focus on the 80,000 or so injuries that occur each year and begin to reduce this number by applying the industrial safety engineering principles I mentioned. Coupled with quality supervision and an understanding of situational awareness, I am confident injuries can be reduced. In many cases, the injuries are more devastating than a fatality, as a long-term disability may affect quality of life, job performance and financial stability for decades, not just during and immediately after the incident.
FIREHOUSE: Thanks, Bill. Do you have any final thoughts?
JENAWAY: Just one — I would offer to Firehouse® readers that, risk management is best left to professionals who can match risk control and risk financing techniques to the challenges you face. Use these professionals the way you would a doctor, accountant or attorney.