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Firefighter Safety: Fire Leaders' Perspectives

BY SCOTT M. ROUNDS This article discusses how the decisions of chiefs can affect firefighter safety in the fire department. It is based on a research study that included a survey of 10 active fire chiefs from the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. BACKGROUND For years, the fire service has been asking why the rate of firefighter line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) in the United States has been so high. LODDs had remained at around 100 a year for decades. During these years, various initiatives were tried to decrease the LODDs, but there was no discernible drop in these fatalities.1 Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini of the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department, commenting on the number of LODDs, ...

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