Firefighting

Maintaining Aggressiveness and Safety on the Fireground

Issue 6 and Volume 165.

BY RICHARD C. KLINE The safety record of the American fire service continues to be dismal. Our death, injury, and accident rates have not changed substantially over the past two decades. According to U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) statistics, 87 firefighters were killed in the line of duty in 2010. Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 48 firefighters, 22 of whom died while engaged in fireground activities. In 2010, most structural firefighter deaths occurred in residential dwellings.1 Injury statistics also haven’t changed substantially over the years. A 2011 USFA firefighter injury trend report cites that 49 percent of firefighter injuries occur on the fireground. Of these, 87 percent occur while operating in structure fires. We continue to injure and kill firefighters in the same manner as we did decades ago despite advances in technology, improvements in apparatus and protective equipment, and the implementation of incident management systems.…

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