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  1. #21
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    No, we will never have a "zero" death rate among firefighters. As long as we continue to make interior attacks and preform search and rescue the chance will always be there, no matter how safe you try and make it. You can have the best equipment in the world, text book IC and tactics, safety officers and RIG in place and a firefighter death can still happen.

    What we MUST do however, is limit our risk by eliminating all the stupid things you hear and read about firefighters doing. Wear ALL your PPE ALL the time (including SCBA). Stop pulling 1 3/4" lines for 2 1/2" fires. Stop getting on roofs without a hose line and a ladder to work off of. Wear your seat belt in the rig. Stop driving like its the Daytona 500. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

    And no, it wont cause any departments to go broke. All it takes is a little effort on the individual firefighters part.

    Be safe
    Dave
    Last edited by Dave1983; 07-08-2004 at 09:42 PM.


  2. #22
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    First we have to know how we are getting killed. Here is a chart.
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    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
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  3. #23
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    In Japan, emphasis is placed on individual responsibility for care and awareness. The Japanese have targeted the home for the bulk of their fire safety educational efforts. Japanese fire departments routinely assign 10 to 15% of their personnel to full-time prevention activities, compared to less than one percent in the U.S. The Japanese efforts also include school instruction, radio and TV broadcasts, media coverage of each structure fire, door-to-door distribution of fire safety instructional materials, women's and children's clubs and national campaigns. Hong Kong has instituted built-in safety in high-rise buildings where the majority of the population resides. These publicly subsidized housing projects incorporate extensive fire safety provisions and public fire education instruction. The people of Hong Kong display strong motivations toward fire prevention efforts and accept individual responsibility for fire safety. The Hong Kong Fire Department conducts approximately 140,000 fire inspections annually, with three quarters of these based on citizen complaints. Obviously, the variances in fire protection practices among nations are the result of differences in climate, geography, history, customs, political systems, and other socio-economic characteristics. The question we must ask ourselves is in regard to the transferability of these practices into the U.S. In large measure, the current residential fire fatality experience within the U.S. could be reduced by the installation of fire detection and extinguishing systems currently available. The greatest limitation to successful fire rescue efforts by the fire services is detection and response time. Often these two critical elements are not under the complete control of the fire service. Early detection, coupled with automatic fire sprinkler protection, can do more in the first few minutes of a fire emergency to safeguard lives and property than can a prompt response by the local fire department.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
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    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

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  4. #24
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Ray hit the nail squarely on the head.But even if we devote (which we should)a hefty increase in prevention there will NEVER be a year without a LODD. WE ALL must do much more in the prevention business. Here's another thing to throw out there. Is it easier to change cultural behaviors when its ONE culture IE: Japan? Or is it a harder task when you have such a melting pot like we do here?
    Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 07-08-2004 at 09:56 PM.
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  5. #25
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    hfd66truck,

    Iím more a lurker than a poster so I donít post much anyway but Iíll join you and refrain from posting on any thread that isnít discussing important topics. Heck, the reason I come here is to learn something about fire fighting, I donít give a damn about what light bar someone uses or whether youíre paid or volunteer or ďbla bla blaÖÖ. (thanks FFRED) thatís useless information and a waste of my time. I donít read those type of threads and the amount of time that I spend on the forum has decreased remarkably because there are so few good discussions, George was right about that.

    On topic, I just donít understand why we have such a flawed FF culture. How can we talk about reducing FF deaths if we canít get people to properly wear their PPE or stop driving fire apparatus while drunk, or killing people in POVs when responding? My department, while not perfect, doesnít tolerate those type of simple, common sense, safety infractions. Period. For example, we will and have kicked people out of the department for traffic violations when responding in POVs to the station. How is it that any department in this country would allow, heck almost promote, such unprofessional behavior as I listed above? I donít get it. Itís not money; professional, adult behavior cost only time, effort and commitment. I havenít been around the fire service long, 5years or so, but I see such a difference between how my department operates and the nonsense I see reported (and written about on these forums) about here on this site. How is that possible?

    I find it interesting that the first topic on the list is about changing the culture, I think the authors realize what the hardest change will be too.

    Bill.

    PS This is a great thread/topic. Anybody want to bet on how few responses it gets?

  6. #26
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    You guys have all hit the nail on the head in a lot of different areas. The most important thing I see from all of this is that there is no one single answer to any of the problems and issues that the American fire service has before it in today's world.

    We certainly need to stress fire prevention efforts more, but at the same time we also need to ensure that the safety of our responders is not neglected or put aside in favor of prevention efforts.
    We need to see a return to training on the "basics" of firefighting, but at the same time we must prepare for the new scenarios that our 21st century world presents.
    We deserve better staffing on our crews and shifts, but we also need to learn how to use our personnel more effectively and to make sure that they know what their job is and isn't.
    And we do need change at the upper levels -- but we all have an individual responsibility to change our own lifestyles, our own actions, and our influence on those around us.

    It's not that any of these tasks are particularly difficult on their own, but rather that jurisdictions, departments and firefighters are frequently stuck with finding some compromise between this and that. And in doing so our effectiveness, our safety and our strengths are often compromised. Are there easy answers when we're stuck with choosing between the lesser of two evils? Rarely so.

    Those sixteen points are all good ones, but I wager that any group of fire service personnel anywhere in this country could've come up with them -- despite our differences, we all seem to face some of the same problems. The solutions, however, are not so easily noted.
    And will what works for FDNY work in rural Alabama? Sometimes, but not always. Do the answers for Maryland also do the job in Colorado? Yes and no.

    Just some observations -- didn't mean to ramble on too much. This is, as noted, a really good discussion and I've enjoyed reading it and considering the points that each of you has mentioned.

  7. #27
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    Good topic Dave and some great replies.

    I feel a large part of our problem is the lack of realistic live fire training. Even large city departments are going to fewer and fewer fires, but those of us in small volunteer departments may only go to an actual working fire once every two to three years. In this business, experience is definitely the best teacher. When experience is few and far between, we need realistic, quality training to enhance our skills. If most of the people in your department have very little experience with an actual hot burning fire, how can they be expected to recognize signs of flashover, structural instability, etc. They're going to end up all bunched up on the nozzle trying to get up front to see the fire.

    Yet all of the hoops needed to jump through to get EPA permits, etc. just for a flashover trailer, let alone burning in an acquired structure makes it very tough for many departments to do this training, especially volunteer departments that don't have the personnel to devote hours to the paperwork and phone calls to get the permits. It would be good to see the USFA make it a priority to streamline the process for getting permits for live fire training.

    Aside from that, we (especially small volunteer departments like mine) need to spend more time drilling on the fundamentals like stretching hose, etc. It was a multitude of "little" mistakes that ended up killing a brother in Cincinnatti.
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  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by whflhff
    hfd66truck,

    I find it interesting that the first topic on the list is about changing the culture, I think the authors realize what the hardest change will be too.

    Bill.

    PS This is a great thread/topic. Anybody want to bet on how few responses it gets?
    Its not that the authors, which were working groups at the LODD Summit and a follow up meeting in Phoenix, thought culture would be the hardest to change. It is the one thing that each of the five working groups came up with. Across the board, wildland and structural, the culture needs to be changed. Yes, it will be hard.

    On the subject of fire prevention. No one will disagree that more needs to be done there. But the focus of the LODD summit and the 16 initiatives is to reduce LODD's when we do have to roll out the door.

    At the Opening of the summit the facilitator made it clear, "We know what is killing firefighters, our mission is to identify ways to reduce those deaths.

    And almost everyone there agreed, we will probably never get to zero.

    If were could just get the seat belt issue and apparatus crashes under control we would be off to a good start.

    All of the information can be found at:
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  9. #29
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    Random thoughts:

    1. The cultural change may start a the top, but remember one thing: THE TOP AIN'T DYING! Its a change that must be demanded and expected by the bottom. (And continues with the bottom taking off their stupid t-shirts and taking off the light bars-seriously).

    2. We will never know if we can experience a zero death rate UNLESS WE TRY!

    3. I have said a bazillion times that fire prevention could be the one tangible thing that we could improve that would make a dramatic and immediate impact on fire loss and fire deaths. To repeat myself: fire prevention is treated as a punishment, or a pasture to stick the old guys, or as an affirmative action vehicle by most departments. The result is a bureau staffed by people who either don'tr want to be there or don't care. There are so few departments, especially volunteer departments that have aggressive, accountable FPB's that it is sickening. You could give out those stupid Fire Act Grants for 100 years and not save one life. If you put that money to the sole use of improving fire prevention, and then making the departments that recieved the money accountable for action, in three years you would so dramatically reduce fire loss that we wouldn't know what hit us. BTW< the USFA already has the framework in place to target the areas where the effort would do the most good.

    4. We should treat fire prevention as a respectable career track.

    5. You can be aggressive and smart at the same time.

    6. The culture MUST be that we will expect nothing less than 100% accountability from every person on the fire scene-from the Commish right down to the hydrant man. It is everyone's job to make sure that everyone goes home in substantially the same condition as they arrived in.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Random thoughts from an insomaniac:

    Carelessness. It doesn't cost anything to think about what we're doing.

    Money isn't the big obstacle -- many good departments started off on shoestrings and found the training. Paper and photocopiers are pretty cheap these days.

    Attitudes, in some areas, are slowly (maybe glacially) changing. Our "Signal 50s" (Fires) are down by 50% in the last three years. That ain't fire prevention (sorry George) -- it's our dispatch center re-classifying things over to a "Signal 64" which is an inspection for a (possible) hazard. When they say "64" it's a no lights or sirens response unless further information comes to upgrade it. As of July 1 we've gone to Priority 1 (emergency) and Priority 2 (non-emergency) categorization of medical calls regionwide (spent a while at officers' meeting tonight discussing what that all means to us -- basically if dispatch says Priority 2, unless they or someone on scene says to upgrade, we go with normal flow of traffic -- period.) This ain't a bottom up culture change but at least it's the dispatchers pushing down more formally what calls we should run "hot" too.

    It's all about the basics. When you come down to it, basic structural firefighting ain't that difficult. We muddy it up with a bunch of colored vests and radios and more equipment than what we know what to do with sometimes. And then we forget about while we're going to haz-mat class and pathogens class and learning the latest way to slide someone down a ladder. Firefighting's not that hard, it does require basic leadership, and it requires teamwork. Some of the city boys can go more on "auto-pilot" than some of country kids but the principles remain the same -- what's burning, where is it, who or what is most threatened by it, where should the hose go, and how do I vent to support the fire attack. There's a lot of NIOSH reports, read the narratives. The findings are usually fluffy junk, the narratives are where you draw the mental picture of firefighters who never figured out where the fire was burning, or the only vent for the fire was the front door they came in, or were complete keystone cops on the fireground.
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  11. #31
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    I hope you don't mind.......if I participate in this thread....but continue to act in my capacity as Minister of Information. I will endeavor to keep you all up to date on fire/firefighting/safety/ articles and issues.

    Y'all need to be infoamed...that has been, and will continue to be MY pledge.

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    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 07-09-2004 at 07:52 AM.
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  12. #32
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    Between the years 1979 and 2002 there were over 180 firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse, not including those firefighters lost in 2001 in the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Structural collapse is an insidious problem within the fire fighting community. It often occurs without warning and can easily cause multiple fatalities.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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  13. #33
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    Ok, so everyone admits that Prevention is an area that needs work. Training also. But what about this Cultural Change? From the very core of what we are about.

    Are the authors saying that we shouldn't fight interior fires?

    Are they saying that interior ops should only begin when a bizillion(nice word George) firefighters are there?

    Imagine what a new recruit would be trained like under this change. What would be his focus? Could he expect days of Company level Fire Prevention duty, patrol style, like the PD? Hmm, maybe MANDATORY recertification training, like in EMS or Law Enforcement, on the basic duties of his job. Combined of course with training in the "new stuff".

    George is right, Fire Prevention is either a retirement home, jail cell, or choice left for the guy with the short straw. Maybe a solution is to hire "non-fire" personnel for code enforcement and inspections. Hire people with talents in areas of Public Speaking, Engineering, with great attention to detail. Then these people would be "suited" for the job. Lets face it; it hard to take someone used to the stress and excitement and challenge of suppression, assign them to Prevention, and expect them to excell.

    Great discussion so far, but there are about 20,000 more members that must have something to say.

    ED -
    Keep on keeping on Brother...I wouldn't expect anything less.

    I made the pledge, you guys can do whatever ou like. But if we focus our time on this, who knows..maybe we will figure out a way to make it work. At least we will have increased everyones awareness of the problems - and thoughts about what the brothers and sisters talked about at the summit.

  14. #34
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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  15. #35
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    LODD SUMMIT

    By Ronald E. Kanterman
    Originally appeared at FireEngineering.com. Reposted by permission.

    A View From The Summit

    c) 2004 Harry R. Carter, Ph.D., L.L.C., By permission of Harry R. Carter, Ph.D.

    Summit Releases Recommendations for Reducing Firefighter Fatalities and Injuries

    Reprinted from On Scene, Volume 18 Number 7 by permission of the IAFC
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  16. #36
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by whflhff

    On topic, I just donít understand why we have such a flawed FF culture.

    I find it interesting that the first topic on the list is about changing the culture, I think the authors realize what the hardest change will be too.

    I think it is tradition that holds us back in many ways. Go ahead, blast at me but thats my opinion.

    It might be a cold hearted thing to say, but the culture and tradition IMO are changing as the older Firefighter leave or retire. There has been a lot of change and the rebelious nature of the Gen XYZ results in their rejecting of some of the old ways and adopting new ways quicker, IE technology, tatics, etc...

    It just takes time and new people with new attitudes.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 07-09-2004 at 10:20 AM.
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  17. #37
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    Maybe a solution is to hire "non-fire" personnel for code enforcement and inspections. Hire people with talents in areas of Public Speaking, Engineering, with great attention to detail. Then these people would be "suited" for the job. Lets face it; it hard to take someone used to the stress and excitement and challenge of suppression, assign them to Prevention, and expect them to excell.
    I absolutely could not disagree more with this comment. That is the whole cultural issue in a nutshell!!! Look at your job description, fire prevention is YOU! I have been a career firefighter in an industrial setting for 20 years, fires are an EVENT, when they happen its because the Fire Department failed. We don't let fires happen, we spend our day making inspections and testing systems. Obviously the municipal department can't test systems. Want a culture change? Get the apparatus on the street all day doing inspections. Spend the remaining time training, if your working 24's.. time after 2100 is yours. Maybe then, when we start to show a productive workday in the face of declining fire duty can we stop sending fire apparatus on every single EMS run so we can have something to do. Insist on doing ALL of our job and shut off the TV.

  18. #38
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    Samson, maybe things will improve as us "dinosaurs" move on, but from my experience the "Gen xyz" crew has their own set of issues. The fire service "culture" problem is not simply a result of adherence to tradition or resistance to change. Many of the "kids" in my company have no concept of team work, no desire to do their part in restocking or maintaining the equipment, and very little desire to train. Those attitudes have to be changed as well if we're serious about safety and doing the job correctly. These problems aren't about tradition or lack thereof. They are grounded in attitudes.
    Last edited by CJMinick390; 07-09-2004 at 10:29 AM.
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  19. #39
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Early detection, coupled with automatic fire sprinkler protection, can do more in the first few minutes of a fire emergency to safeguard lives and property than can a prompt response by the local fire department.
    I quoted this from FFFred. Go through FH.com news stories and see how many FIRE DEPARTMENTS are not following this simple logic of having detectors and/or suppression systems. We set the example for fire safety. Unfortunately, you hear way more often about our BAD EXAMPLES than you ever do on the good ones.

    The change needs to start from within. Every FF, from rookie on up to Chief, needs to start being accountable for their own decisions, safety, behavior, etc.

    The Fire Service needs to stop being it's own worst enemy.

    Good Luck to us all!
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #40
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    Hmm, maybe MANDATORY recertification training

    I believe the beginnings of that is in the pipeline. What I've heard is Connecticut is looking at doing that starting with the Fire Service Instructors themselves -- eventually I think you will see some kind of mandatory refresher/continuing education to keep your Firefighter I/II, Instructor, and Officer certs.
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