Firefighter Training

Training Officer Liabilities

Issue 4 and Volume 162.

BY JOHN K. MURPHY Training is a vital part of fire department operations. Its importance is even greater when you consider the mission of the fire department and the inherent dangers of a firefighter’s job. Firefighting and first-response fatalities average 100 each year, with more than 83,000 injuries occurring annually. Training is designed to prevent these deaths and injuries; but, unfortunately, improper and unsafe training also results in firefighter deaths and injuries. Training fatalities average about 10 percent of line-of-duty deaths per year and more than 7,000 injuries. The deaths occurred during a broad range of activities, including apparatus and equipment drills, physical fitness activities, live-fire training, underwater/dive training, and classes or seminars. Many of the injuries sustained during training ended the firefighters’ career. RESPONSIBILITIES The fire department and fire training officer’s responsibilities are, first, to ensure safety and, second, to accomplish education and skill objectives. Responsibilities include being aware…

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