Quotes from safety officers...
Here are a few quotes from safety officers who recently attended an NFPA 1500 safety Symposium and their thoughts as given to Fire Chief Magazine.
David Ross- Toronto fire Services, Canada-
"Twenty years ago it was a status symbol to be a smokeeater, to go into a fire without the use of your protective gear and scba, eat smoke and cough up phlegm when the job was done. This is unacceptable today because materials in buildings today are even lighter, more toxic and more dangerous than ever before and theyre only getting worse"
David Dodson- Loveland Colorado-
"we've got to get our arms around a stronger attitude towards risk-balance. It appears there are still too many cases of firefighters taking extreme risks for little to no gain. To further the problem, communities are making choices to build buildings with lightweight, fast-burning materials and no sprinkler systems. Communities are choosing to minimally staff their fire departments. The question is, are we going to change our approach based on these choices?"
Other safety concerns were driving standards because 25% of all firefighter deaths and injuries occur when responding or returning from a call. The third area of concern is STRESS. Half of all firefighter deaths and injuries are because of STRESS.
This means we need to address the physical condition level of our firefighters and perhaps create some incentives and also some punitive measures to pass rigorously fitness standards.
Every member from a probie to chief of department must have ownership in the safety program and fitness programs of their department. Everyone must have input. To get firefighters to buy into a program they need to be as essential as the Chief in the development of any department initiative.
At this symposium we also stressed making department safety records and NIOSH fatality and injury reports available to all firefighters so they know what they need to know to survive. This will awaken some people who should know.
Every department at the company, battalion and division level should have safety meetings and briefings to discuss concerns of the firefighters that bc's and company officers can take to the command staff.
We also discussed risk management and the need to involve firefighters along with officers.
If anyone wants more information or has legit questions please leave them and Ill try to get an answer from my notes and executive summary.