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    Default What should count as a LODD?

    OK, one of my replys to another topic got me to thinking about the question as to what is really a LODD.

    What I mean is it is generally thought that all on duty deaths, whether from the start of to the end of shift for career people or from the time the tones go off until the volly gets back home for volunteers, training whether from trauma or medical and so forth are classified as LODDs.

    When I think of LODDs, I tend to think of the brothers and sisters killed in the heat of the battle - say a guy that falls off a 35' ladder reaching out for a baby the mother dropped from the 5th floor window, from a flashover, or being stuck by a vehicle at the scene - you get the idea.

    Considering that, while technically the following are on-duty and died while on duty:

    A. Is somebody that is a heart attack waiting to happen and it happens at the station or on the fire ground is really a LODD?

    B. Is somebody killed as a result of their own actions responding to or returning from an incident really a LODD?

    C. Is somebody killed as a result of their own actions and in violation of departmental safety procedures or just plain old common sense really a LODD?

    Just wondering...
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Yes mongo all those are. Because who is going to stand up at the funeral of a brother firefighter, that even though he was on a fast track to heart attack,and say he wasnt line of duty when he was on shift?

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    When I think of an LODD, I always initially picture a firefighter being killed by something traumatic and beyond his immediate control, such as a roof collapse. Iíll even consider victims of MVAís if they were responding to an emergency call and the apparatus was being operated appropriately.

    I donít think itís a LODD if someone slips on a wet floor at the station and hits their head hard enough to kill themselves, or if they are on duty and standing in line at a hot dog stand and a car jumps the curb and kills them.

    But I canít limit LODDís to just traumatic injury. A perfectly healthy person can exert themselves into a heart attack at a fire scene.

    I do believe there should be a distinction between LINE OF DUTY and ON DUTY.

    I think that we use the term LODD a little too freely, but it would be hard to make it a purely black and white issue.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    I'd like to know the motivation behind the question. I feel truckie is correct. If it's a firefighter and he is on duty, or Vol headed for the station. I'll be standing there in my class A uniform. Does falling in the station make a guy less dead than someone caught in a flashover. If it were only an injury and workers comp covers it then a fatality is a LODD.

    My $ .02, Stay safe

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    Gotcher point Mongo, but if you don't include 'em all, who gets to decide which ones are? Who gets to selects the people that decide? Do you think any group of firepeople [ahem] would agree?

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    Originally posted by mongofire_99:
    OK, one of my replys to another topic got me to thinking about the question as to what is really a LODD.


    A. Is somebody that is a heart attack waiting to happen and it happens at the station or on the fire ground is really a LODD?

    B. Is somebody killed as a result of their own actions responding to or returning from an incident really a LODD?

    C. Is somebody killed as a result of their own actions and in violation of departmental safety procedures or just plain old common sense really a LODD?

    Just wondering...
    In each case I have to state YES. Here are some examples for each:

    1. 40-50 y/o male. Dies while running from his place of employment TO THE STATION (which is only next to the firehouse, of a CVA. What caused the attack? Remember that world class atheletes in EXCELLENT CONDITION also die from heart attacks! LODD, Yes! (Went to his funeral)

    2. Firefighter while returning to station from a call rolls the tanker and is killed. LODD, Yes! (Read about it)

    3. Firefighter at college awakens to sounds of smoke detectors, finds HIS dorm burning. He helps rescue several people while wearing no gear, no SCBA, etc. While going back in, he is overcome by smoke and toxic gasses and succombs. By your definition, he should not have gone back in! Is it an LODD, YES!!! Emphatically!!! (Went to HIS funeral).

    3b. How many OTHER firefighters have been passing by a fire and gone in without gear or SCBA. Does it violate just about every reg there is? YOU BET! How many do we read about in the Heroism issue of Firehouse mag? Several.

    There is a word for these firefighters, and it isn't irresponsible. These people are HEROES!!!!!

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    What about all our brothers out there dying of duty related cancer? That isnt really addressed, but it happens. I guess its hard to prove. firefighters die from cancers at a rate of 4 times that of the national everage.Put that in your barn and burn it!

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    Mongo,
    this is a good question. I beleive that there may be many causes of LODD. Firefighting is perhaps the most dangerous job that there is. Many times stress (a leading cause of heart problems) may cause a death. Mongo, are you ever really off duty. I am sure that if you were on holiday and if you seen a wreck, your instincts would take over and you would do what you could to help. If someone hit your car while you were turning around to get to the scene and you were killed, i would call that a line of duty death. You could even offer aid to someone on a hunting or fishing trip and get snake bit. You were acting in the greatest tradition of firefighters everywhere. Giving aid to your fellow citizens. A firefighter does this where ever they are.
    These are just my thoughts
    Larry

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    And as for the motivation, it's just a topic for discussion, something I was pondering.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Should there be any distinguishment in dying while on duty as opposed to dying while performing your duty? If a person dies during their sleep while on duty I feel their families should receive all the benefits a person who dies while performing their duties will receive. However, would you consider their death an heroic death? A very hard question to answer mongo. Somehow there should be some way to differentiate between the two types of death without making eother seem trivial. I don't know how that could be done, but there must be a way.

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    For clarity, I ain't interested in robbing anyone from their due benefits.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    I wasn't implying you intended to rob anyone of their benefits. Nor would I. However, I am afraid if we start differentiating between dying on duty and dying while performing our duty, someone (our employers?) may want to change the rules on benefits. I know none of us want to see that!

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    You can bet your sweet bippy that benefits would be cut if we start differentiating between LODD and "on-duty not LODD". No argument there, Chief.

    But, for the sake of this discussion, forget the benefits for a moment.

    If a firefighter dies in his sleep or in a flashover, everybody should show up at his funeral in Class A dress, mourn the loss of a brother, and take care of his family. It's not because he was "on duty" or because he a died in a fire, it's because he's firefighter. It should be the same if the same firefighter dies in a car accident on vacation.

    So, take away any "benefit" to dying in the line of duty, and what's everybody's opinion? If I go home from a call from my little VFD driving like a drunk monkey and straighten out a curve at 95mph, I would hope that people wouldn't consider it a LODD. I wouldn't WANT them to. I'd still honor a brother for being a firefighter if he did the same thing, however.

    Just my opinion.

    [ 09-02-2001: Message edited by: Silver City 4 ]
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Mongofire...

    I know we dont agree on a lot of things...but...
    I feel that if you are on duty, responding, training, fitness training...etc...anything that is an extension of your job and you pass away, it is a LODD.

    Even despite the fact that you may be out of shape or make a mistake that leads to the passing.

    Bottom line is..you are on duty...and serving your community.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    I think Silver City may be on to something. The term 'LODD' has become too distorted, and I feel it is misused when you may be referring to someone who died from injuries recieved falling from a ladder during training, or going home from the firehouse after responding in for a call. Those would be more appropriately "On-Duty" deaths.

    How is it possible to place someone into the LODD category when they died by not following safe practices in training, or when "straightening out a curve" at 90 miles an hour when going home after a run with a rural VFD? True, they were serving their community, but I find it a little unreasonable to group those into the same category as the brothers that pass during an explosion and collapse of a hardware store, collapse of a roof, or (as stated earlier) falling after trying to grab an infant dropped from the fifth floor.

    I fully believe in paying respects to those who served should they pass, no matter how it happens, but I belive the LODD distinction should be handed out a little less liberally.

    Would you hand out a unit citation to EVERY unit on the scene of a challenging call, regardless of their actions on the scene, or just the ones who got deep into the thick of things to make a difference? Same thing... proper recogniton has it's place. Not depriving anyone of that recognition, but there are varying levels...

    I could easily die watching TV when a filing cabinet gets knocked over and crushes my skull, but do I deserve the same LODD title as the crew who dies after plunging through a burning floor while searching for a victim? I would sure hope not...

    [ 09-02-2001: Message edited by: lumpy649 ]
    Hey, it's MY opinion, not that of my department or peers.

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    Point well taken Lumpy.....

    Not sure what the answer is....but...I dont see us changing it anyway.

    I have had two close friends die in the same event. It was due to a combination of errors that led to the tragic death of two young firefighters when they were struck by a train as they crossed an unmarked crossing in Virginia On September 28, 1989. First...there was no address posted at the driveway...and they drove by...going a mile to find a place to turn around...then...when they turned into the driveway, from that angel...the train was not visible arund the curve and they did not stop before crossing.

    They made a mistake...does that mean it is not a line of duty death? I see where you are coming from...but...still....
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    Many nights the most dangerous thing we do is walk across the highway for a pizza. that's why we send recruits. They get the full deal if they get splatted on a pizza run, I suppose. hehehe.

    EKUK: You have a point. At the Wall (Vietnam for the uninformed), there is a service every year for those that died after-the-fact, but from causes like agent orange. It's on Mother's Day. BUT their names are not on the wall. Maybe they should be, I dunno. Does my cousin deserve a purple heart because he had just his voice box ripped out thanks to delayed agent orange effects? I dunno that either, but it's food for thought.

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    I would agree with the notion that there should be a distinction between LODD, and on-duty death as previously stated, but the question then becomes "what other ways can we differentiate the two? - funds, benefits, etc."

    If someone dies in performance of their duties at the scene of an emergency, or succumbs to injury or illness incurred in doing so, that would be 'LODD'.

    If someone happens to die while on duty, in the firehouse, etc., doing something other than firematic, or job related, that should be an 'onduty death'.

    I tried to make it as vauge as possible, so don't nit-pick, and respond with, "Well, if a guy was climbing a staircase in his firehouse, to get the VCR for a training and fell, . . . "

    These two should be synonimous with respects to procedures for funerals, monitary issues, and respect for a fallen brother firefighter. Everything else can be disputed.

    I'm not even sure if I've making any sense now, so I'll just bow out.

    (Whew Mongo, actually had to think w/ this one. Brain is now fried, stretch a line)

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    While I do believe in seperating the two, I do thinkbenefits should remain the same... no matter what the cause.
    Hey, it's MY opinion, not that of my department or peers.

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    Hi Ho, Mongo:
    The pragmatic side of my brain tells me that we want LODD designation so as not to minimize the death of a firefighter. The cynical side tells me that it's a numbers issue. Face it; the safety gurus and lobbyists for fire service funding have been screaming "We are still killing over 100 firefighters a year in this country" for years. They are, of course, referring to LODDs. If we differentiate between death by pizza and death by roof collapse, their argument will lose its strength. Maybe not.
    I think that an LODD occurs when, while performing his/her job duties as defined in their stipulated job description, they succumb to an injury/illness that arose out of or was suffered in the course of their employment. All others would be reviewed for causality-i.e. linked to the job.
    It seems to me that LODD is not about recognition as I believe that it was intended, but about benefits. It's about getting an attorney because their lost loved one wasn't properly trained, equipped or fed OR that their back up guy wasn't properly trained, equipped or fed, causing the death. It's about suing the pants off of an equipment manufacturer because there was a dead battery in the PASS device. It's about settling for large sums of cash, because people get bitter when they lose a loved one. Period.
    LODD and the ensuing funeral brings pause to the bitterness, if only for a brief moment. It allows us to reflect on the reasons that we became firefighters; we re-visit in our minds the scene of the tragedy and struggle to make sense of it. We keep our suspicions, opinions and accusations to ourselves out of respect to our fallen firefighter and their family. We cry as the bagpipes play and we smile as we remember lighter moments. And when it's over, for the reasonable person, LODD is the difference between starting over and college funds for the kids OR it becomes the catalyst for a contentious lawsuit; pitting family member against family member, firefighter against firefighter and Greed against our glorious tradition. How many of you have said "If I die LODD, sue the crap out of Them"? Not many, I would hope but then, we understand!
    Is dying from eating one too many greasy burgers at the fire station different from dying from a floor collapse at a structural? God, yes. In most states, benefits won't be paid if you are engaged in an activity considered non-work such as eating, sleeping exercising, etc. unless it is specifically stated in some form of employment contract.
    I believe that the original intent of LODD has been twisted over the years to where it denigrates the solemnity and sanctity of the ultimate sacrifice into one of profit-taking.
    If I die LODD, keep the blood-sucking, law snakes out of it. My wife will accept with gratitude whatever she is entitled to under existing public policy.
    I will close with two questions:
    1) Whatever happened to the notion of "no fault" and
    2) Why are VFDs hiring drunk monkeys to drive?
    Hats off, Mongo for another thought-provoking topic.
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    Some excellent points all around.

    My position...

    No difference in benefits but for record keeping purposes, make the distinction between OD and LODD.

    LODD just has to much of a reverent ring to it to associate somebody wiping out themself and a family when returning to the station after the call.

    But then again, what aboutthe other people on the apparatus?

    Thangs that make ya go hmmmm...
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    While most of us would agree that cardiac-related death should be considered as an LODD, the sad reality is that your Federal Government doesn't.

    They describe LODD as:

    >>Line of duty is defined in the PSOB regulations (28 CFR 32) as any action that the public safety officer whose primary function is crime control or reduction, enforcement of the criminal law, or suppression of fires is authorized or obligated by law, rule, regulation, or condition of employment or service to perform. Other public safety officers---whose primary function is not law enforcement or fire suppression--must be engaged in their authorized law enforcement, fire suppression, rescue squad, or ambulance duties when the fatal or disabling injury is sustained.<<

    The Public Safety Officers Death Benefit is not paid when a fire fighter dies of a heart attack unless there is a concentration of CO over 15% and the CO was the proximate cause of the death or their was a traumatic injury.

    You can go to the Bureau of Justice Assistance website for more info on this program.
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