Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Firefighter Safety: A Near Miss Stresses the Need for Chain Saw Safety Training

Issue 3 and Volume 168.

By MICHAEL J. BARAKEY, DARYL J. FUNAIOCK, AND GARY A. UMPHLETT A near miss occurred on July 2, 2013, involving a Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department (VBFD) captain (officer) and a jump seat firefighter while they conducted a chain saw operation to remove a tree from the roadway following a motor vehicle accident (MVA). At approximately 2150 hours, the chain saw chain contacted the captain’s bunker pants, causing a three-inch tear in the left kneepad. Because of the potential of serious injury, the department conducted an investigation per its policy. The investigative team consisted of the battalion chief of health and safety, the shift safety officer, the department’s chain saw safety subject matter expert (SME), and the city’s occupational safety officer. This report provided corrective measures that would reduce the probability of reoccurrence, ensuring the safety of firefighters using chain saws in low light and on unstable footing. Scenario On…

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