The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) in partnership with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has completed a study of emerging occupational health and safety issues in the volunteer fire and emergency services. The report, Emerging Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service, provides information on initiatives, programs, and strategies for reducing fatalities among volunteer firefighters.
"The volunteer fire service is an integral part of our nation's Homeland Security," said U.S. Fire Administrator Greg Cade. "The USFA was pleased to work in partnership with the NVFC to develop focused initiatives to support the health and safety of America's volunteer firefighters."
There are an estimated 823,950 volunteer firefighters in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association report U.S. Fire Department Profile through 2006. Over 70 percent of the fire departments in the U.S. are all-volunteer and 17 percent are mostly volunteer combination departments. With the vast majority of fire departments and their communities dependent on volunteer firefighters, there is a critical need for effective health and safety programs to protect these volunteers from preventable injury, illness, and death.
"The volunteer fire service has distinct issues related to health and safety that need to be specifically addressed," said Philip C. Stittleburg, NVFC Chairman. "We lose too many volunteer firefighters in line-of-duty deaths."
CLICK HERE to download a copy of the report (PDF).