I have attended more than a couple of fire service classes over the past few years, and I also have a stack of firefighting trade periodicals sitting on my desk that I read frequently. In each, I see the same theme being emphasized over and over again — firefighter safety. This I applaud...
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I also challenge you to go to the USFA website (www.usfa.dhs.gov) and take advantage of all of the free fire prevention and firefighter safety materials available to you, and then get it out into the community and into the hands of your personnel where it will do some good. We need to take advantage of it before we lose it, and by losing it, we would also be sending a message to our government that prevention is not important to the fire service and it is OK to cut there first
On Jan. 7, 2009, due to the shocking nationwide rise in fires and fire deaths, the National Association of Fire Marshals joined the USFA in declaring a national fire emergency; In addition, just months into this year, over 35 firefighters have died in the line of duty. All of those who died in fires, or while responding to or returning from fires, died for the same reasons that firefighters have been dying for years.
It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If the student failed to learn, is it not because the instructor failed to teach? The attitude of the student is reflected by the attitude of the instructor, in subtle and indirect ways indeed!
DANIEL BYRNE is a lieutenant and the fire marshal for the Beaufort, SC, Fire Department. He holds an associate's degree in fire science and is pursuing a bachelor's degree, also in fire science. A 22-year veteran of the emergency services, Byrne is a National Fire Academy alumnus and a volunteer paramedic with Beaufort County EMS. A U.S. Marine veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm War, he is a technical sergeant with the Georgia Air National Guard, serving in the Fire Protection Division airport crash crew. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.