Line of duty death (LODD) reports from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contain valuable lessons and recommendations all firefighters can integrate into their departments. In recent years, several firefighters have perished in apparatus accidents. One goal of “Training from Tragedy” was to use NIOSH reports on these LODDs for training purposes.
The classroom session focused on how to incorporate training and instructional points from firefighter line of duty death (LODD) reports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reviewed during the past 10 years into fire department driver training and safety programs. Students learned how to access the NIOSH reports and reviewed apparatus accident statistics from 2009 and 2010. The connection between fire department budget cuts and jeopardizing firefighters on the fireground and also when traveling to and away from the emergency site was explored.
“I plan to review recent apparatus accident/fatality statistics and key behaviors behind the wheel that we have to address with our apparatus drivers to prevent them from having accidents,” said Michael Dallessandro, Life Member, Grand Island (NY) Fire Co. before the class. “Also I will show trainers how to use the invaluable information contained in the NIOSH LODD investigation reports to address local concerns that could cause similar situations that led to the deaths of the firefighters covered in the NIOSH reports.”
According to Dallessandro, one benefit of the class was that attendees would become more aware of driver safety issues that can cause injury or death and will be able to use that information while they drive and while they train other drivers.
“The most important thing attendees will leave with is a clear plan on how to use NIOSH LODD reports as a training tool to educate their apparatus operators on safe habits,” he said.