Leadership

TURNOUT TIME

Issue 7 and Volume 157.

If we look at the annual firefighter fatality statistics, several things stand out. One, for sure, is that we are still losing too many firefighters. Second, about one-half of the firefighter fatalities annually are due to health conditions—specifically heart attacks and strokes. Third, approximately one-fourth of the annual fatalities are caused by vehicular accidents. Firefighting is a dangerous job. We must remember that if we don’t get to the incident because of a vehicular failure/breakdown, heavy traffic conditions, or an accident, we cannot help anyone. Breakdowns and heavy traffic usually don’t kill firefighters. Vehicular accidents do. It is not practical or prudent to tell a driver/chauffer to hurry up and drive faster on runs. Volunteer firefighters driving their own vehicles likewise should not speed to get to the scene 30 seconds faster. Most departments have policies restricting the speed at which a vehicle can travel Code 3 on a run…

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