Protecting Firefighters Lives and Safety

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Every year communities struggle each year around the nation with issues of life safety. In 2012, the nation’s fire departments responded to 31,854,000 responses that resulted in the deaths 0f 2,855 civilians and injuring 16,500 causing an estimated $12,427 million dollars in damage. (United States Fire Administration, 2014) These incidents put at risk 345,950 career and 783,300 volunteer firefighters that resulted in the deaths of 81 individuals (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2013) and nearly 70,000 reported injuries. ( Karter & Molis, 2013) These numbers represent incidents that are determined to be in the line of duty but do not take into consideration the long-term health risk issues that may develop. Evidence shows that he hazards associated with Fire and Emergency Services are consistent across the board whether paid or volunteer and jeopardize the lives and health of each individual, placing administrative and physical control measures reduces this risk to firefighter within an organization. While it is impossible to eliminate the hazards firefighters face, it is important to identify these hazards as the first step in reducing the potential for loss of life and wellbeing both physically and mentally.
The United States Fire Administration is responsible for the establishment criteria for a Line of Duty Death determination (LODD). The criteria include a fatality or fatal injury or illness that may occur while on duty. For the purpose of LODD “On Duty” encompasses any incident that occurs at the scene of an emergency, responding to and from an incident or any other activity that would be considered officially assigned duties such as training. Fatalities that are associated with a documented exposure to a communicable d...

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...lity Determinations. Retrieved January 26, 2014, from U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):
United States Fire Administration. (2014, January 9). United States Fire Administration. Retrieved January 26, 2014, from National Fire Protection Association Estimates:
Verfuss, E. (2004, December Can adequate rehab prevent firefighter deaths? Fire Engineering,, pp. 43-50.
Yang, J., Teehan, D., Farioli, A., Baur, D., Smith, D., & Kales, S. N. (2013). Sudden Cardiac Death Among Firefighters £45 Years of Age in the United States. American Journal of Cardiology, 1962-1967.

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