Risk Management: It’s Not Just a Catchphrase

Issue 8 and Volume 167.

BY JENNIFER CHADWICK The enemy has changed, and the enemy isn’t playing fair. Many of the rules that applied to firefighting 50 years ago are no longer valid today. Firefighters are now operating in environments that are trying to kill them faster and more aggressively than ever before. Lightweight construction components and the increased use of synthetic materials have changed the game for the fire service. It may appear that the fireground has become safer for firefighters because of a reduction in the overall number of firefighter fatalities over the past 30 years, but during this same time frame, there has been an alarming 67 percent increase in firefighter fatalities from traumatic injuries. The fireground has become increasingly dangerous to firefighters everywhere. We are duty-bound to understand why this is happening and to do whatever it takes to prevent the loss of another one of our own. A line-of-duty death…

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