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Speaking of Safety: How Safe is Firefighting?

by Brian HouskaRecently, Chief Bruce Tenniswood in his article "Have We Made Progress?" asked members of the fire service to seriously consider our steady casualty statistics. To do so, the first question we need to ask is whether or not 100 or so deaths per year constitute a problem. That may sound cold, but consider that people die on every job, every day, regardless of a job’s perceived safety. Once we accept that, the question becomes not how many deaths we suffer in a year (our annual rate), but how many per 100,000 workers (an equivalent rate). This equivalent rate provides the level footing necessary to test for excessive casualties by comparing fire ...

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