Leadership

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS DURING LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS/INJURIES

Issue 3 and Volume 159.

BY PAUL J. ANTONELLIS JR. A line-of-dutY death (LODD)/injury or multiple LODDs/injuries have a devastating impact on the family system and the fire organization involved. The U.S. Fire Administration has reported that over the past 10 years, the fire service has averaged almost 112 deaths per year. In addition, over this same time period, the fire service has averaged almost seven multiple-firefighter fatalities each year, representing 166 deaths.1 According to the Department of Homeland Security Firefighter Casualties 1995-2004 report, in 2003 firefighters reported 78,750 injuries.2 Given the sobering numbers involved, every fire department needs to be fully prepared for a LODD/injury, and adequate preparation goes far beyond developing a policy/guideline. Departments should provide their members with the education and training needed to respond at several levels for a LODD/injury. After more than 15 years of experience and education related to LODDs/injuries, I feel that the fire service does a great…

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