Thread: Near Misses...

  1. #1
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    Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default Near Misses...

    Well this just sets off the bull-****-o-meter:

    IAFC President Chief Ernest Mitchell cited NFPA statistics that show for every 100 incidents of injury or death, there are one million near-misses or close calls where a fortunate break in the chain of events saved it from being a statistic. "I believe this is an idea whose time has come," he said.

    Hmmm, let's do the math:

    45,500 firefighters were injured on the fireground in 1999,
    (http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/p...s/v2i1-508.pdf)

    There where 1,734,500 fires in the United States in 2001.
    (http://www.usfa.fema.gov/public/factsheets/facts.shtm)

    So what they're saying is we around 455,000,000 near miss accidents annually in the U.S. fire service -- let's see, that's 1.5 for every resident of the U.S., about 455 near misses per firefighter, or about 267 near miss accidents per fire...

    I don't even believe that statistic if you make it 1,000 per hundred -- that's still 1/2 a near miss annually per FF and 1-in-4 fires having a near miss.

    Unless they're considering every time you go to a call and come back safe as a "near miss." I don't mind windage in statistics, but that was just a might bit high on the hyperbole side.
    Last edited by Dalmatian90; 08-13-2004 at 05:24 PM.
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    "Never believe statistics you have not falsified yourself!"
    I don't know who exactly said that, but it fits.

  3. #3
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    Default

    And I thought I was going to be the only one who thought they might be inflated.........

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    Besides, Chief Goldfeder already has a near miss reporting system:

    www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    I like their "use of information" disclaimer.

    USE OF INFORMATION FROM FirefighterCloseCalls.com and The Secret List should be passed along to FIREFIGHTERS and those who support (or are supposed to support!) us! Credit shall be given to www.firefighterclosecalls.com and if you are truly committed to firefighter safety, that should be no problem. If you aren't, and you don't give us credit and try to prostitute this stuff as your own, we'll find you and expose you. We Promise. Odd's are... our mailing list is bigger than yours!
    Note, the above quote belongs to www.firefighterclosecalls.com (I don't want to get on their bad side)

    I also thought the statistics were a little high in that article. However, the overall concept seems like an interesting idea. It takes learning from others mistakes, or near mistakes, to the extreme.

    The only problem would be processing those supposedly millions upon millions of reports into easily interpreted statistics.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Default Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

    I like FirefighterCloseCalls and check it out frequently. Case studies only go so far though. They really aren't very good at identifying systemic problems. A well-designed data collection system would be very useful in this regard, but I do see some limiting factors.

    I'm thinking that voluntary participation is likely to skew the data because of who reports and who doesn't. There are plenty of folks out there who just don't know enough to realize when they've nearly bought the farm.

    While we're working so hard on reducing firefighter injuries and deaths it would be really great if we could also have a functional fire reporting system so that we could identify fire risks and prevent them before they start. Wait - we have NFIRS, right?
    ullrichk
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