Changes on Horizon for Fire Fighter Near-Miss Program

The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss program has been revived, but a few changes are on the horizon.

Instead of a weekly near miss alert, there will now be a monthly newsletter featuring a number of incidents,.

The IAFC board of directors on Thursday approved the report of a special task force appointed to study the program’s future after it was denied federal grant funding.

Data on near misses that could have resulted in death or injuries is collected electronically from responders who complete a synopsis of the incident.

The reports are coded so no information about the department or state is revealed.

"To see the IAFC family rally around this program is a tremendous testament to how strongly the whole organization believes in the life-saving capability of the Near-Miss Reporting System," Chief Bill Metcalf, IAFC first vice president and chair of the Near-Miss Sustainability Task Force said in a prepared statement.

When word surfaced that the life-saving program was not receiving a grant, a number of people stepped up to the plate.

The IAFC’s EMS; Volunteer and Combination Officers; and Safety, Health & Survival Sections and the Great Lakes Division came forward to commit funds to support this plan, with additional funding provided through the IAFC operational budget. Members of the Safety, Health and Survival Section will also contribute volunteer hours to help create educational and training materials.

The plan will keep the program running through Sept. 30, 2013.

"We still have a way to go to solidify the future of this program, but this plan sets us on the right path," said Chief Hank Clemmensen, IAFC president and chairman of the board. "I want to say thank you to all of the IAFC members and many others in our industry who are stepping forward to support this program."