Thread: FF Injuries and LODD in Canada
03-08-2003, 09:25 PM #1
FF Injuries and LODD in Canada
I'm going to a public hearing in a few weeks, where some very specific things will be addressed. Namely the lack of investigation, reporting and access to firefighter injuries and LODD on a national level in Canada, and the 500K the Federal Gov can't come up with for WMD/Terrorism training.
For those that don't know there was a proposal put to the federal gov shortly after 911, where every firefighter in Canada could be trained on WMD/Terrorism for 500K CAD, through a US program. The gov didn't exactly veto it, because it is still floating around the hill, but they didn't approve it. Given that the federal gov just allocated 10 Million more to amatuer sports, I sorta want to know why they can't come up with 500K for the people that risk their lives to keep the citizens of our country safe.
I spoke with the FC office here in BC, the database they have is only current to 2000, if you want any informattion from them, you have to request it in writing. There is no online access to it. There are no investigations into ff death unless it is requested by the dept. Which means if there is a misappropriation of funds ie funds were allocated for new regulators but those regulators were never purchased, and the funds went into someone's pocket, no one will find out about it. If a ff is asked to trial new equipment, and the equipment malfunctions, if an investigation isn't requested no one finds out about it, including the manufacturer etc.
I also spoke with WCB here in BC and even through worksafe, if you try to do a search for injuries, LODD and occupational disease specific to firefighting, the only tthing you get is a statistical page which really isn't that current, and doesn't contain the actual cause of death.
I spoke with the Federal Gov, there used to be an entity called Dominion (something I don't remember the rest) they at one time compiled the information on a national level, but they no longer exist. The Federal Gov stated to me that it was up to each Province to compile and send out the information.
The IAFF has the information for union members. There is nothing that tracks the vollie depts, and there is no information exchange between the two.
Why am I rambling on like this, because I need some help. I need to know if other provinces have a system in place that if something happens the information is either readily available to any dept, or the public. If investigations into LODD are done without having to make a request for them. If there are bulletins sent out, or some kind of information exchange system in place to warn other depts if a ff contracts a disease through contact, has equipment failure etc.
Also if the information is readily available would you post a link please. Right now I am looking at mostly US LODD to use as examples, simply because the information isn't that readily available in BC. In talking with WCB I discovered the information exchange, within the WCB dept that actually oversee's firefighting in this province isn't that great. The dept is seperated into regions, and information isn't necessarily passed between the two.
I would appreciate any help that anyone can give, the more information I have the better armed I'll be.
03-09-2003, 02:11 PM #2
We are only now beginning to realize here that we need to create a database for injuries etc. I wonder how many times over the years we have had personel injured in the same manner, how many of those repeat injuries could have been eliminated if the causes had been identified.
03-09-2003, 02:52 PM #3
Exactly, regardless of how or why a firefighter is killed, that is one too many in my book. It just seems to me that if there is no investigation, there is no tracking, there is no reporting, etc then it is bound to be repeated, and those firefighters died in vain.
That is not acceptable to me!
The panel I will be addressing in a couple weeks, is a WCB panel. I have spoken to a higher up in a region seperate from mine, he is going to see what kind of info, incident reports etc he can get for me. I am going to take in several NIOSH reports, as well as whatever info I can get from the UK, NZ, Aus etc. I figure we have a better chance of proving that it is needed, if it can be shown that other countries have a system in place.
I'm addressing WCB first because they already have a provincial system, in each province, and it would take very little to integrate the country. In BC the PM is trying to do away with some of the specific things related to WCB and firefighter safety. NONE of them are the red tape BS, if his plan goes through the way it is currently projected, it will open huge gaping holes as far as training and equipment standards goes. We all know that if there is nothing practically written in stone saying a piece of equipment needs to be replaced, then the powers that be wont allocate the funds to it. Both my contacts at WCB, and at the FC office are of the opinion that the rate of injuries and death will substantially increase. I'm putting together little packages for them, because I am of the opinion that if you give them too much digging to do themselves it wont get done. Might even color code them. They will include incidents like Lairdsville, the McDonalds fire in Texas, residential fire NC where Capt and FF went through a burned out floor, residential fire in TN where a vollie died after becoming disoriented etc.
I just want to point out, if anyone reads this and knows someone who was at these incidents, or was there themselves, it is not a finger pointing exercise, (there will be other incidents used as well, the majority will probably be from the US because the database is easily accessible and the system is place is a good one) if anything it is an attempt to honour those who are fallen by learning something about why they died, and to pass that information on to other firefighters so we might have just ONE less this year.
If anyone knows of an incident that could easily be repeated, or you have access to an incident report on a provincial level I would appreciate being sent a link, or an email.
03-09-2003, 07:51 PM #4
We've had several firefighters injured lately in buildings in the process of being renovated that had things like bannisters and hatches removed.
03-09-2003, 08:26 PM #5
Are your injury reports filed through FC office or WCB?
Are there are reports actually being generated?
I'm asking because if I can get my hands on them, and show that the injury could have possibly been prevented through information sharing it would go a long way.
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