Firefighting, Tech Zone

Functional Fireground Accountability, Part 1: Are We Making Progress?

Issue 6 and Volume 165.

BY DAN MILLER AND CHRIS LANGLOIS Firefighters who die in the line of duty on the fireground do not usually die because of one single event. It’s true that the death of a firefighter is often narrowed down to one overriding cause such as running out of air, being involved in a collapse, getting lost/disoriented, or being caught in a flashover. However, it is often a series of smaller events that lead up to or contribute to what ultimately becomes a tragedy. The job of those left behind is to learn from those tragedies. We must identify the links in the chain of events, both large and small, that lead up to each tragedy, and we must remove or at least lessen the effects of those links in future incidents. If you research the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Firefighter Fatality Investigation Program, you will clearly see…

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