Future directions for the NIOSH firefighter fatality program

In 2006, the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) undertook two complementary efforts to seek data and feedback to guide future directions of the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP). NIOSH sought stakeholder input at a public meeting and through a public docket, and conducted a national survey of U.S. fire departments focusing on the use of NIOSH recommendations and information products. NIOSH is making several modifications to the FFFIPP based on stakeholder input and survey results. The intent of these modifications is to ensure that the FFFIPP meets stakeholders’ needs and to increase the impact of the FFFIPP on fire fighter safety and health. The document linked below summarizes these modifications and future directions.

The public stakeholders’ meeting was held on March 22nd, 2006. A total of 37 non-NIOSH attendees participated in the meeting, and presentations were given by individuals representing the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), among others. Eleven individuals submitted written comments to the docket. NIOSH received considerable positive feedback about the FFFIPP, and suggestions for improving the FFFIPP. Information about the FFFIPP Stakeholder meeting and docket comments are available on the NIOSH Docket 0063 page.

In the spring of 2006, RTI International conducted an evaluation of the FFFIPP under contract to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [NIOSH is part of the CDC]. The evaluation was based on a nationwide survey of 3,000 fire departments and a series of focus groups with front-line fire fighters. The evaluation served to determine the extent to which FFFIPP reports, recommendations, and other products are being utilized by the fire service for: training; development of procedures, guidelines, policies and practices; and other prevention efforts. The evaluation also helped to identify enhancements that could further the FFFIPP’s impact.

CLICK HERE for the summary of future directions for the FFFIPP based on stakeholder input and survey results.

NIOSH management and FFFIPP staff would like to thank all those who participated in the stakeholders’ meeting, submitted comments to the docket, and responded to the evaluation survey and focus groups. It is the goal of the NIOSH FFFIPP to work with partners and stakeholders to decrease the number of fire fighter injuries, illnesses, and death across the country and around the world, and the constructive feedback provided has helped to strengthen these efforts.

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