The second Firefighter Safety Stand Down will be begin Wednesday, June 21, 2006, and continue until all shifts have been completed. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is joining the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers’ Section and 17 other partners in urging fire departments to suspend all non-emergency activity and focus entirely on fire safety.
The Stand Down calls attention to the number of preventable line-of-duty deaths and injuries among firefighters. Departments are encouraged to check all apparatus and equipment, discuss health and safety regulations, review fire ground safety issues and take stock of training and fitness goals. Last year, an estimated 10,000 fire departments participated in the event.
“We must take dramatic steps to reduce the alarmingly high firefighter death and injury rates,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “While firefighter safety must be part of everyday life in the fire service, the Safety Stand Down raises awareness of the issue and calls international attention to the unacceptable number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths.”
The 2006 Stand Down will focus on emergency vehicle safety, including seatbelt usage and safe driving through intersections. “Sadly, 106 firefighters died in the line of duty last year. Many of the accidents occurred in department vehicles,” said IAFC President Chief Bill Killen. “We want to focus on areas of safety where we can have the most impact.”
The NVFC has been a major advocate for firefighter safety and promotes heart attack prevention goals through its Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program. The campaign provides important fitness, nutrition and health information to firefighters in a proactive effort to reduce the number of firefighter deaths caused by heart attack and other heart-related conditions.
“The National Volunteer Fire Council is proud to partner with the IAFC and other organizations to support the Firefighter Safety Stand Down,” said Maggie Wilson, Director of Health and Safety at the NVFC. “Firefighter health and safety is very important to the NVFC, and we will continue to work towards reducing the number of firefighter deaths.”
For information on 2006 Stand Down, visit http://www.iafc.org/standdown.