Why Domestic Violence Should Concern Fire Departments
Why domestic violence should concern fire departments everywhere, both volunteer and paid, is the potential for the use of fire as a weapon in these incidents. Not only would the direct victim or victims of domestic violence be involved, but so would the firefighters and other emergency services personnel as well. I have been following Frank Brannegan's KNOW YOUR ENEMY series where it deals with truss type construction with great concern, since this type of construction for new buildings is becoming increasingly common in my department's service area, but some new homes being built are using this type of construction technique as well. When a building so constructed is lit up by an abuser, the potential for firefighters to become his secondary victims becomes considerable. While such incidents may be rare, there is always that possibility that a fire dept. could be confronted with a series of fires stemming from domestic violence incidents, and sad to say, a few firefighters having problems at home could be among the perpetrators,which is all the more reason for fire departments to be concerned about domestic violence as this scourge on our society affects EVERYBODY. Not even the firehouse is immune. Between Denise Brown's domestic violence website and what I am learning here, the possibilities for d.v. incidents involving the use of fire become alarming, no pun intended. The next time an arson investigator is called to a fire scene, a good question to ask about an arson fire is this:"Was domestic violence involved here?" I think it would be worth the investigator's while to find out before an abuser goes after someone else this way! It is my hope that this piece will go a long way toward saving some lives. Even though I can't fight fires due to an accident injury, it is partly why I joined my volunteer department in the first place, to help out any way I can.