LODDs: What You Can Do to Prevent Them

By Brian Ward

What are you doing to ensure that you and your crew go home every shift? As of December 22, 2008, there had been 109 firefighter line-of-duty-deaths (LODDs) in the United States, according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s Web site. Remember, every shift you work, a firefighter somewhere in this nation loses his life. Doesn’t that make you think? For every shift you work, a firefighter dies. In addition, firefighters suffer numerous injuries, some of them disabling, every year. Why does this happen, especially with the availability of the safety training programs and classes with which we can educate ourselves and the resources to spread that knowledge?

Web research resources

Searching the Internet is one of the easiest and quickest ways to obtain knowledge. However, because of the number of Web sites and varying reliability of the information they may present, we must crosscheck all information to verify authenticity. But the amount of credible resources available makes this easy to do. We can get most of our research information from the Internet, on topics such as personal growth, program development, and equipment specification.

However, the best information is not always found in the most obvious places. Throughout my time as an up-and-coming firefighter, I have compiled a list of useful Web sites. There is no way to list them all, but I have broken them down into categories for easy reference. Sites I targeted provide quality material but at little or no cost.

Some of these materials can be used to start career development classes; others are great for station training. If we all read at least 10 to 15 minutes a day on some topic related to the fire service, imagine how much better informed we would be! The fire service has many training requirements that, rightfully so, focus on the basics of firefighting. If we don’t know the basics, we can’t move forward, but we also have to learn to broaden our horizons. Whether we are volunteer, combination, or career members, it’s each individual’s responsibility to be a professional firefighter. If everyone focuses on being a professional and not just a part-time firefighter, we can reduce our LODDs.

For more free training information, visit www.FireServiceSLT.com.

Fire Service Web sites

Building Construction


Fire Service History and Culture

Fire Service Law

Hazardous Materials


Incident Case Studies

Instructor Materials

National Incident Management System



Simulations/Scenario-Based Training

Sprinklers and Fire Prevention


Strategy and Tactics

Tools and Equipment

Vehicle Extrication

Brian Ward is a Training Officer for Gwinnett County (GA) Fire Department and the vice chairman of the Metro Atlanta Training Officers. Brian is an advocate for the State of Georgia Everyone Goes Home program. He holds an associate’s degree in Fire Science and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree. He is also the founder of FireServiceSLT.com.

Subjects: Line-of-duty-deaths (LODDs), injury prevention, firefighter training Web sites and resources

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