Captains and Catastrophes

Issue 5 and Volume 156.

By Tim Hartman I recently read some of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports on firefighter fatalities. I recommend that you take the time to read them. They offer a great deal of insight into how firefighters die. NIOSH doesn’t pull any punches. It tells you how it really was and how you can avoid the same mistakes. If that doesn’t interest you, it should. As I read through a couple of the reports, these questions kept popping into my head: How can I avoid having one of these reports being written about one of my crew? What exactly is my job in preventing fatalities and injuries? Is there someone out there who knows, or are we all just trying to figure it out by ourselves? What are the responsibilities and job of a company officer? Don’t think for a second that I’m going to give…

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