The Fire Scene: "Stay Safe!" What Does It Really Mean?

Many firefighters use the term “Stay safe!” with fellow firefighters. It is a common phrase that many of us use casually, and sometimes I think we say it without actually knowing what it means. What do you think “Stay safe!” means? Let’s talk...


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There is an obvious problem here – physical fitness, or the lack thereof, in the American fire service is our dirty little secret. How can we be even talking about rapid intervention, the “two-in/two-out” rule or positive-pressure ventilation (PPV) when half of the firefighters who die each year may not have been fit to perform the work they were required to do. Being physically fit is a major element of staying safe. We can’t expect to improve the level of safety on the fireground if we let “fragile” personnel engage in the most physically demanding work in America.

I hope my view of staying and being “safe” has given you an important new perspective on this evolving issue.

Hey, “Stay safe”! n