I wonder how many Texas oil companies hire inexperienced folks off the street and then allow them to operate refineries with no training. Heck, it’s just switches and levers, anyone with a bit of sense can run them, right?
Understanding that yes, some volunteer fire departments struggle with budgets and yes, finding time to train can be a problem, but cutting corners when firefighter safety and well-being is concerned is unacceptable.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives are simple rules that were put together to save firefighter lives.
It can’t be said any better or more succinctly than #5: Develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.
Anything less and the lawyers will be making a lot of money.
The 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives
- Define and advocate the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety; incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability and personal responsibility.
- Enhance the personal and organizational accountability for health and safety throughout the fire service.
- Focus greater attention on the integration of risk management with incident management at all levels, including strategic, tactical, and planning responsibilities.
- All firefighters must be empowered to stop unsafe practices.
- Develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.
- Develop and implement national medical and physical fitness standards that are equally applicable to all firefighters, based on the duties they are expected to perform.
- Create a national research agenda and data collection system that relates to the initiatives.
- Utilize available technology wherever it can produce higher levels of health and safety.
- Thoroughly investigate all firefighter fatalities, injuries, and near misses.
- Grant programs should support the implementation of safe practices and/or mandate safe practices as an eligibility requirement.
- National standards for emergency response policies and procedures should be developed and championed.
- National protocols for response to violent incidents should be developed and championed.
- Firefighters and their families must have access to counseling and psychological support.
- Public education must receive more resources and be championed as a critical fire and life safety program.
- Advocacy must be strengthened for the enforcement of codes and the installation of home fire sprinklers.
- Safety must be a primary consideration in the design of apparatus and equipment.