The Virginia Beach Fire Department has developed and implemented a risk management plan. The intent of this plan is

To limit the exposure of the fire department to situations and occurrences that could have harmful or undesirable consequences for the department or its members.

To provide the safest possible work environment for the members of the fire department, recognizing the inherent risks of the department`s mission.


The risk management plan is intended to comply with the requirements of NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, specifically paragraphs:

2-2.1: The fire department shall adopt an official written risk management plan that addresses all fire department policies and procedures.

2-2.2 The risk management plan shall cover administration facilities, training, vehicle operations, protective clothing and equipment, operations at emergency incidents, operations at nonemergency incidents, and other related activities.

2-2.3: The risk management plan shall include at least the following components:

(a) Risk Identification: Potential problems.

(b) Risk Evaluation: Likelihood of occurrence of a given problem and severity of its consequences.

(c) Prioritization of Risks: Prioritize risks based on analysis factors.

(d) Risk Control Techniques: Solutions for elimination or mitigation of potential problems; implementation of best solution.

(e) Risk Management Monitoring: Evaluation of effectiveness of risk control techniques.


The risk management plan uses a variety of strategies and tactics to address different objectives. The specific objectives are identified from the following sources of information:

Records and reports on the frequency and severity of accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses in the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Reports received from the city`s insurance carriers and workers` compensation.

Specific occurrences that identify the need for risk management.

National trends and reports that are applicable to Virginia Beach.

Knowledge of the inherent risks that are encountered by fire departments and specific situations that are identified in Virginia Beach.

Additional areas identified by fire department staff and personnel.


The fire chief has responsibility for the implementation and operation of the department`s risk management plan. The department`s health and safety officer has the responsibilities of developing, managing, and annually revising the risk management plan. The health and safety officer has the assignment of making modifications to the risk management plan based on the prompt demand and severity of need based on the monitoring of the process.

All members of the Virginia Beach Fire Department have responsibility for ensuring their health and safety based on the requirements of the risk management plan and the department`s occupational safety and health program.


The risk management plan includes the following:

identification of the risks that members of the fire department encounter or may be expected to confront, both emergency and nonemergency;

nonemergency risks include such functions as training, physical fitness, returning from emergency incident, routine highway driving, station activities (vehicle maintenance, station maintenance, daily office functions);

emergency risks would include such functions as fireground activities, nonfire (hazardous materials incidents), EMS, response to an emergency;

evaluate the identified risks based on the frequency and severity of these risks occurring;

an action plan for addressing each of the risks in order of priority;

selecting a means of controlling the risks;

provisions for monitoring the effectiveness of the controls implemented; and

a periodic review and required modifications of the plan.


Provisions for monitoring the effectiveness of the controls implemented:

The Virginia Beach Fire Department`s risk management program will be monitored on an annual basis.

Recommendations and revisions will be made based on the following criteria: annual accident and injury data for the preceding year, significant incidents that have occurred during the past year, information and suggestions from the Division of Risk Manage-ment, and information and suggestions from department staff and personnel.

Every three years, the risk management program will be evaluated by an independent source. Recommendations will be sent to the fire chief, the Health and Safety Office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Committee.

For additional information, contact: Captain Murrey E. Loflin, Virginia Beach Fire Department, Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (804) 427-8579.

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